Refworld's powerful search capabilities will often give you what you're looking for straight away. However, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the options that follow:
If you are looking for a specific term or document, searching can help you find it quickly. When you search in Refworld, you enter one or more search terms about the item into the basic search box, and you receive search results that match those words. Searching also offers sophisticated options that allow you to narrow your search in a variety of ways, with the most powerful options reserved for the advanced search page.
Be as specific as you can when searching for documents, use specific words instead of general ones. Enter words that you think will appear in the documents you want. Refworld indexes all of the words in every document.
Standard searchinternational protection
Will return documents containing both the words international and protection (not necessarily together).
Assisted searchbidoon citizenship
- By default Refworld uses assisted search to match spelling and other variations. Thus you do not need to know all a word's spellings in order to get maximum relevant results. In the example, as well as bidoon, results with bedoon, bidun, bedoun etc. will also be returned.
- This is particularly useful when there are related names that are completely different. For instance, the Chocó people of Colombia are also known as Embera and Wounan. Assisted search means that a search for chocó will also include results with embera and wounan (and vice-versa).
- To override this feature use ~ in front of keywords. In the example, ~bidoon will not include results with bedoon, bidun, bedoun etc.
- Assisted search also encompasses UK/US spelling variations (e.g. honour/honor), apostrophes (e.g. sharia/shar'ia) and many common hyphenations (e.g. subclan/sub-clan).
Exact word or phrase search"complementary protection"
Use quotes to search for an exact word or phrase.
Wildcard searchkar*jong spokes*
Use an asterisk * within or after a query term to search for spelling variations or word forms. Note: there must be a minimum of two starting characters before the asterisk.
Exclude a wordherat -taliban
A dash before any query term will exclude that term from search results. In this example search will match herat and exclude results with taliban. To exclude multiple words, use brackets and separate terms with commas, e.g. -(taliban,isaf).
Search for either word(fergana,ferghana)
To search for documents where one word or another is present, enter keywords in parentheses separated by commas. In this example search will match either fergana or ferghana.
Proximity search"case law"~2
To perform a proximity search, add the tilde character ~ and a numeric value to the end of a search phrase. For example, to search for a "case" and "law" within 2 words of each other in a document, search for: "case law"~2