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1.3 Advanced Search Syntax

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While you can search for almost anything using basic search, advanced search techniques can help you narrow down considerably the notices that you are searching for.

  • Using Wildcards
    Your keyword can end with a wildcard. The wildcard character is the * (asterisk). When a wildcard is used as the suffix to a keyword, the results of the search will include all words that begin with the keyword. That is, engineer* will return all contracts that have the word engineer, engineers, engineering, etc…

  • Using Phrases
    You can search the database for a phrase. A phrase can consist of any number of keywords enclosed by a pair of " (double quotation marks). The contents of the phrase should not contain any logical operators such as wildcards or categories. A phrase is any consecutive series of words separated by spaces that you want the search engine to find in exactly that order.
    Example:
    "storage tank"  "storage tanks"  “army corps of engineers”

  • Logical Operators
    Your search string can consist of any number of keywords, categories and phrases if logical operators separate them. The valid operators are as follows:
    OR  : space or the word OR -- this is the default search mode
    AND : &  (ampersand) or the word AND
    NAND: AND NOT  
    
    Logical operators are evaluated from left to right.

    • Logical OR
      A logical OR is the union of all members of two sets. Therefore, if you OR'ed two keywords, i.e. construction building, the result would be all contracts that contain the word construction and all contracts that contain the word building.
      Note: The program eliminates duplicates, so that if a notice contains both keywords, that notice will be displayed only once.

    • Logical AND
      A logical AND is the intersection of two sets. Therefore if you AND’ed two words (i.e. construction AND engineer), the result would be all of the contracts that contained BOTH words, construction AND engineer. If a contract contains only one of these words, it is not considered to be a match.

    • Logical NAND
      NAND is defined as AND NOT. An example will make this operator a bit clearer: missile AND NOT system. This will return all contracts that contain the word missile but do NOT have the keyword system in them.

Contents - Search Examples