Search Help

Located at the top right of each page in this Web site, the search box enables you to quickly access benefits, costs, and lessons learned information related to particular interests you may have. An important element of the search capability is the selection field that allows you to search the "Benefits" database, the "Costs" database, the "Lessons" knowledge resource, or "All." Selecting "All" allows you to search for benefits, costs, and lessons information related to the keywords you enter. Use the "Go" button to submit your search.

In addition to simple word searches, you can use query operators to refine your search.

The following table presents the query operators you can use and describes how each operator will enhance your search.

OperatorWhat it does
and

AND

&

These find documents containing all the conditions or words linked by AND.

Example: 'car AND highway AND safety' finds documents containing all three of these words.

or

OR

, (comma)

These find documents containing either of the conditions or words and returns them ranked by number of appearances in the document.

Example: 'car OR highway OR safety' finds documents containing at least one of these words.

Note ACCRUE works slightly better than OR when sorting results by relevance.

NOT

not

!

These make the query negative.
· You can put NOT between words: 'car AND NOT safety' finds documents containing the word car, but not if they also contain the word safety.
· '(car OR safety) AND NOT (highway OR transit)' finds documents containing the word car or safety, but not if they also contain the word highway or transit.
· '(car AND safety) AND NOT highway' finds documents containing the words car and safety, but not if they also contain the word highway.
" "Placing double quotes around operators (like AND, OR, CONTAINS etc.) allows the search engine to read them as normal words.

Example: "arterial management" finds documents containing the phrase arterial management.

?This is a wildcard. It represents any single letter. It does not work with dates or numbers.

Example: '?ar' finds documents containing car, far, mar, bar (and any other three-letter words that end with 'ar')

'???rt' finds documents containing start, alert, smart, (and any other five-letter words that end with 'rt')

*This is a wildcard. It represents any extension of letters. It does not work with dates or numbers.

Example: 'inter*' finds documents that start with 'inter' such as intersection, interstate, interoperable

Also, '*art*' finds documents containing the letter sequence 'art' such as arterial, cart, start

- (hyphen)This tells the search engine to find the hyphenated word pair. Example: 'full-text' finds documents containing "full-text."
( ) [parentheses]This determines the order in which your query is processed. A part of the query enclosed in parentheses will be processed before parts outside the parentheses.