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Search for specific termsThe list of articles of the pulicationThe list of topicsThe list of all authorsThe list of all tables and figures



Case differences: ignore case differences
upper/lower case must match
Word endings: ignore word endings
whole word must match
Return up to hits with hits per page.

How to find the information you need

There are 5 ways to find information in this publication:

  1. Search for particular words or phrases
  2. Access articles by chapter titles
  3. Access articles by topics
  4. Access articles by authors
  5. Access indexed tables and figures

1. Search for particular words by writing them in the small window on the "Search" page. This is the first page of the collection that comes up and can be reached from other pages by pressing the Search button. Enter one word, several words, a phrase, or "words in quotations" for exact matches.

2. Access articles by chapter titles by pressing the Articles button. This brings up a list of numbered articles or a list of detailed tables of content.

3. To access documents by topics, press the Topics button. This brings up a list of topics in alphabetical order.

4. Access articles by authors by pressing the Authors button. This brings up a list of authors in alphabetical order.

5. To access indexed tables and figures from an article, press the Tables button. This brings up two indexes, one for tables and one for figures.

How to read the publications

When you have arrived at a particular article, an image of the front cover of the book will appear. Along side the image is a fully expanded table of contents. The entire document appears underneath. Click on the open book at the top to close the publication and return to the general list of titles.

A button below the image reads "Duplicate page in new window". Click on it to make a new browser window for this publication. (This is useful if you want to compare articles, or use two articles at once.)

View this section of the text
Open this page in a new window

There is also a link "[PDF]" in square brackets at the end of each article. This leads to the PDF version of the particular article. Clicking on it will open the Acrobat program (please use Acrobat 4.0 or higher), which will in turn open the article being used and allow you to view the pages before printing them. The Acrobat program makes it very easy to print a document.

Searching for particular words

You can make a query from the Search page in these simple steps:

  1. Specify whether you want to search in titles or chapters.
  2. Indicate whether you want to search for all or just some of the words.
  3. Type in the words you want to search for.
  4. Click the Search button

When you make a query, the titles of ten, fifty or more matching documents will be shown. There is a button at the end to take you on to the next documents. From there you will find buttons to take you either on to the third set of documents and so on, or back to the preceeding sets. Click the title of any document, or the button beside it, to view the document.

You can return up to a maximum of specific 50 documents. You can change this number by clicking the preferences button at the top of the page.

Search terms

What you type into the query box is interpreted as a list of "Search terms." Each term contains alphabetic characters and digits. Terms are separated by white space. You cannot search for words that include punctuation. If anything other than alpha/numeric characters appear, such as punctuation, they serve to separate terms as though they were spaces and are ignored.

For example, the query

    Case Study: Earthquake of 22 April 1991, Limon, Costa Rica (OPS)

will be treated the same as

    Case Study Earthquake of 22 April 1991 Limon, Costa Rica OPS

Two different kinds of query

1. Queries for all of the words.

These look for chapters (or titles) that contain all the words you have specified. Documents that satisfy the query are displayed, in alphabetical order.

2. Queries for some of the words.

List some of the terms that are likely to appear in the documents you are looking for. Documents are displayed in order of how closely they match the query. When determining the degree of match, the more search terms a document contains, the closer the match.

Rare terms are more important than common ones.

Short documents match usually match better than long ones.

Use as many search terms as you like; a whole sentence or even a whole paragraph. If you specify only one term, documents will be ordered by its frequency of occurrence.

Scope of queries

You can choose the "granularity" at which your search is done, that is, the size of the text against which the query is matched. You can choose titles or full-text.

Regardless of how you search, the results are always displayed in terms of a complete article, opened at the appropriate place.

Case sensitivity and stemming

When you click the help button at the top of the page and check out preferences, you will see two pairs of buttons that control the case sensitivity and stemming of your queries.

The first set of buttons control whether upper and lower case must match (case sensitivity). The second set control whether to ignore word endings or not (stemming). For example, if the buttons ignore case differences and ignore word endings are selected, the query

    African building

will be treated the same as

    africa builds

This is because the uppercase letter in "African" will be transformed to lowercase, and the suffixes "n" and "ing" will be removed from "African" and "building" respectively. Should you type in "builds", the "s" will be removed.

Useful tips for getting started in five minutes

1. Look for articles in this publication by typing in words, titles, topics, authors or by tables.

2. "Some words" display the titles by nearest hits. This is the default search.

3. Searching for "all words" displays the hits alphabetically by titles. To view hits starting with "Z" set your preferences to display the maximum number of hits.

4. Use "quotation marks" to search for exact matches of words.

5. Performing a search or looking for a keyword will search and underline these words in all subsequent consultations of the publication until the CLEAR button on top of each page is clicked. Failure to use the CLEAR button takes up much more processing time. Get in the habit of using the CLEAR button after every search or keyword consultation.

6. Use the button under the cover image to create several windows to compare documents.

7. Set your preferences to suit your needs. The number of total hits displayed can be set up to 50,000 or more, with 10 to 500 hits per page. The "ignores word endings" setting augments the number of hits. You can change the preferences to uppercase/lowercase sensitivity if needed.

Thank you for your attention

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