Automatic Exclusion of Common Words
The BSI Journal Search Engine ignores common words such as "a" and "the" as well as
punctuation, because they tend to return too many articles without
improving the results. The search engine will indicate if one or more common words have
been excluded along with the search results. If a common word is essential to getting
the results you want, you can force the word to be used by preceding it with a "+"
(plus sign). Make sure there is no space between the "+" and the keyword.
For example, to search for "bromeliad society" which includes the common word
(in this context) "bromeliad", use the following form:
BSI Journal searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type
them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for "spanish moss",
"Spanish Moss", and "sPaNiSh mOsS" will all return the same results.
Optional Words and Boolean Terms
The basic behavior of searching for articles containing all the keywords entered can be
modified with Boolean (logic) operators as follows:
|+||Prepend the keyword with the plus sign to make sure a common word is not excluded.|
|-||Use a minus sign in front of the keyword to exclude articles containing this keyword.|
|?||Preceeding a keyword with a question mark will make the keyord optional.|
For example, to find articles on potting medium using sphagnum or peat moss, you could try:
This query tries to specify a search for "moss" while trying to exclude references to "Spanish Moss". The search term "medium" might help boost appropriate articles to the top of the list but it is included as an optional term. This allows articles that do not contain "medium" to be included in the search results as well.
Proper use of specific search terms and the Boolean operators can significantly increase the recall as well as the precision of your query. Consider the following examples:
The Journal Search Engine does not currently support "wildcard" searches. In other words, searches will not make use of wildcard characters (such as * or ?). Searching for "*regelia" will not yield results containing "Neoregelia" or "Aregelia". But, since punctuation is ignored, articles containing "Regelia" will be displayed. If in doubt, try both forms of the word you are looking for: "?Neoregelia ?Aregelia" for instance.