healthThis query will find all the variables (or studies) that contain the word 'health'.
health insuranceThis query will find all the variables (or studies) that contain BOTH the word "health" AND the word "insurance" (unless you have checked the option to find ANY search word).
"health insurance"If you put the words in double quotes, you will find only the variables (or studies) that contain that exact phrase.
vot*This would find all variables (or studies) containing words starting with 'vot' such as 'vote', 'voter', 'voting', etc. The asterisk wildcard matches MULTIPLE characters.
po?tThis would find words such as 'post', 'port', etc. The question mark wildcard matches a SINGLE character.
Note that both the '*' and '?' wildcards can be used WITHIN a word. However, wildcards cannot be used as the first character in a search term.
For more complicated specifications of this kind, see the advanced section below on Boolean Operators.
Note that the display of results may highlight words in fields other than the one you have selected. But that is just a bonus. The variable (or study) will not appear at all in the results unless it has a match in the field you have selected.
(For more complex use of specific fields in searches, see the advanced section below on Field Syntax.)
By default, all fields in a variable (or a study) are searched. However, you can limit your search to specific fields -- variable name, variable label, question text, or category labels. If you want to search only one field, you can specify that field on the drop-down list of fields, as described above.
However, the special field syntax allows you to search for specific terms in specific fields by typing (in the search box) the field name followed by a colon (":") and then the term you are looking for in that field. (Note that you cannot put any spaces before or after the colon.) The short names of the fields for variables are:
The short names of the fields for study descriptions are:
(The names of the fields are also shown in square brackets in the drop-down list for default fields to search.)
For example, if you want to find a variable with 'health' in the variable label and with 'insurance' in the question text, you could use the query:
If you want to find variables with 'health' both in the label and in the question text you could use:
The default operator is AND, which means that a variable must contain ALL of the search terms. The default can be changed to OR, which means that a variable only has to contain ANY of the search terms, by clicking the appropriate radio button under the search box, as described above.
If you want to specify combinations of operators, you must use explicit Boolean operators. The supported Boolean operators are: 'AND', 'OR', and 'NOT'. (Note that Boolean operators must be written in ALL CAPS, in order to distinguish them from the search terms.)
The AND operator finds a match where both terms are found.
To search for variables that contain both the phrase "health insurance" and the word "doctor" you can use the query:
"health insurance" AND doctor
Since AND is the default operator (unless you've changed the radio button settings from "ALL" to "ANY") you can also just use:
"health insurance" doctor
The OR operator finds a match if either of the terms is found.
To search for variables that contain either "health insurance" or "doctor" use the query:
"health insurance" OR doctor
The NOT operator excludes variables that contain the term after NOT.
To search for variables that contain "health insurance" but not "doctor" use the query:
"health insurance" NOT doctor
Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will not return any results:
If you form a query that contains complex Boolean logic, you should use parentheses to make your query unambiguous. For example, instead of using:
health OR insurance AND doctor
you should make your intention clear by supplying parentheses.
If a match must contain either 'health' OR 'insurance', but must also contain 'doctor', then you would use:
(health OR insurance) AND doctor
If a match must contain either 'health' OR both 'insurance' and 'doctor', then you would use:
health OR (insurance AND doctor)
If you do not use parentheses, you will still get a result, but the rules for operator precedence are complicated and hard to remember. So it is better just to use parentheses.
Languages that are not compatible with the Latin character set at
all -- Asian ideographs, Georgian script, etc. -- cannot be used
in search terms
(although they will still display correctly in
These language limitations in SDA searching will
likely be removed in a future version of SDA. However, it is
important to be aware of these issues if you have datasets that
are not in English.