Combining Terms using Boolean Operators (And, Or, Not)
Multiple Terms
Searching in Specific Fields
Date Ranges
Wildcard and Proximity Searching
Search Tips

BATDA allows you to search the full text of each document as well as data about each document (metadata) such as author, title, and date. By default, BATDA searches the entire record, meaning the document text as well as the metadata fields. For more precise results, you can specify a field or fields to search. Read about searching in specific fields below.

As of mid-2008, BATDA records were merged with the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL) records to ensure ease of accessibility to all tobacco industry documents. When a search is conducted through BATDA, it is executed in LTDL so the interface and web site will be noticeably different from the site you began at. Once in LTDL, you may modify your search to include U.S. tobacco organizations as well.

BATDA supports searches ranging from extremely broad to very specific. The simplest search is for a single term, such as ETS. A quick search for ETS will retrieve all documents containing that term in either the document text or the document metadata.

Note that optical character recognition (OCR), the process of creating readable text from a document image, is far from perfect.

Combining Terms using Boolean Operators (And, Or, Not)
Use Boolean operators to combine terms in a variety of ways. Boolean operators allow you to craft more precise searches, especially when used to search specific fields. If you are unfamiliar with Boolean searching, the Advanced Search page can help you construct a search using Boolean operators.


prevention AND cessation
find documents in which both terms occur.

prevention OR cessation
find documents in which either term occurs.

prevention NOT cessation
find documents in which the term prevention does appear and cessation does not appear.

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Multiple Terms
When you enter more than one search term, the system returns documents that contain all of the search terms. For example, if you enter two or more terms, such as environmental tobacco smoke, your search results will include all documents that contain the words environmental tobacco smoke in any order and anywhere within the document text or metadata. To retrieve documents that contain any of your terms instead of all of your terms, add OR between each term. Entering environmental OR tobacco OR smoke will return all documents containing at least one of those terms anywhere in the document text or metadata.

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To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. "Environmental tobacco smoke" will retrieve all documents containing the phrase environmental tobacco smoke anywhere within the document text or metadata. Search for documents that contain two or more phrases by entering all of the phrases: "environmental tobacco smoke" "secondhand smoke" " passive smoking". To find documents that contain at least one of several phrases, separate the phrases with OR: "environmental tobacco smoke" OR "secondhand smoke" OR "passive smoking."

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Searching in Specific Fields
Search for information in specific fields instead of in the entire record by specifying metadata fields. BATDA supports searches of any combination of document text and fields. The simplest fielded query would be one specifying a single field, such as the author field as follows.

Search syntax: Search_field_abbreviation:search_term
Example: au:proctor

Note that no space appears between the search field, colon, and search term.

To look for two or more different terms in the same field you can enclose them in parentheses or list them separately:

ti:(ets OR "environmental tobacco smoke" OR "passive smoking")
ti:ets OR ti:"environmental tobacco smoke" OR ti:"passive smoking"

Combine searches in the same or in different fields using AND, OR, NOT.

au:proctor AND ti:ets
au:proctor OR rc:proctor
ti:nicotine NOT dt:article
ti:(ets OR "environmental tobacco smoke") AND au:(roe OR thornton)

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Date Ranges
You can restrict your search to documents created or added to BATDA within a specific time frame using the document date (dd) and the document loaded date (ddu).

Search syntax: dd:[yyyymmdd TO yyyymmdd]

dd:[19950132 TO 19971231]
ddu:[20050101 TO 20050215]

Searching by date loaded can help you identify documents added since your previous search.

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Wildcard and Proximity Searching
Wildcards can stand in for one or more unknown letters or numbers. Use the single character wildcard ? to search for variant spellings. For example, organi?ation would find organisation and organization. Use the multiple character wildcard "*" to find several variations of a term. Example: smok* would find smoke, smokes, smoker, smokers, smoking.

Fuzzy search
Fuzzy searches retrieve items containing your term and similar terms. Fuzzy searches can be helpful when searching OCRed documents, which inevitably contain errors. Create a fuzzy search using a "~". Example: glantz~ will find glantz, glant, and g1ants.

Proximity search Proximity searches find terms that appear near each other. To do a proximity search use "~" at the end of a quoted phrase followed by a number indicating within how many words of each other terms should be. For example to search for "lung" and "cancer" within 10 words of each other enter "lung cancer"~10. Proximity searches are useful in full text searching when terms can appear pages apart from each other.

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Search Tips
Too many results? Focus the search by...
· adding a word or phrase
· specifying the order in which you want words to appear
· using a more specific term or phrase
· limiting to a specific field or fields
· limiting to a date range or including a date
· Limit by country name, language, or document type

Too few results? Broaden the search by...
· removing a word or phrase
· specifying words instead of phrases using more general terms
· including synonyms or variant word forms
· searching full text
· removing date range limitations
· removing country name, language, or document type limitations

British American Tobacco Documents Archive