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Superfund Research Program

Customizing Keyword Searches

With the following exceptions, use only English letters and numbers (i.e., no special characters) in your searches. The following non-alphabetic characters are permitted: $ . , : ; ? & " ' $ @ # _ - + * = / \ ( ) [ ] ~

You can use Boolean search terms to refine your search strategy:

  • Use double quotes (") to surround your search term to search for an exact word or phrase.
  • Use AND (all caps) between terms to find content that includes all the search terms.
    For example: asthma AND exposure will return only results that include both asthma and exposure.
  • Use OR (all caps) between terms to find content that includes one or more of the search terms, but not necessarily all the terms.
    For example: asthma OR exposure will return results that include either asthma or exposure.
  • Use NOT (all caps) between terms to find content that includes one search term, but excludes results that include the second term.
    For example: asthma AND exposure NOT Chicago will return results for asthma and exposure, but ignore results that contain Chicago.

You can use wildcard characters to perform specific functions:

  • NOTE: Use only lower-case letters in searches containing wildcard characters.
  • Use a question mark (?) to specify any single alphanumeric character.
    For example: cyp1?1 will return results containing both CYP1A1 and CYP1B1.
  • Use an asterisk (*) to specify zero or more alphanumeric characters. Avoid using the asterisk as the first character in a search term.
    For example: asthm* will return results containing both asthma and asthmatic.
  • Use a tilde (~) to specify the proximity of search terms in search results by defining the allowed distance between search words. This functionality is available only with phrase searching (words must be contained within double quotes).
    For example: "environmental data"~4 will return records in which "environmental" and "data" appear in the record within 4 words of each other.

Searches within a category (e.g., Chemicals, Environmental Media) are "OR" searches that return projects whose criteria include one or more of the terms, but not necessarily all the terms.
For example, when "arsenic" and "cadmium" are selected within the Chemicals category, the filter will return results that include either arsenic or cadmium, or both.

Searches between categories (e.g., Chemicals, Environmental Media) are "AND" searches that return projects whose criteria include terms selected under both categories.
For example, when "arsenic" is selected within the Chemicals category and "drinking water" is selected within the Environmental Media category, the filter will return only projects associated with both terms.

Searches within and between categories combine both the "OR" and the "AND" functionalities described above.
For example, when "arsenic" and "cadmium" are selected within the Chemicals category and "drinking water" is selected within the Environmental Media category, the filter will return results that include arsenic and drinking water; cadmium and drinking water; and both arsenic and cadmium, and drinking water.

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