US DOE Public Reading Room Catalog Richland Operations Office Office of River Protection

Search Hints

The information below provides basic instruction and guidelines on searching for documents in the Reading Room Catalog. For further assistance, please contact the Reading Room Staff.

General Information

  • It doesn't matter if you use capital letters or lower case -- the catalog is not case-sensitive
  • Although you can specify search criteria in more than one field at a time (e.g., search on Date and Title), there is no true Boolean searching within fields (i.e., you can't use AND, OR, NOT).
  • The default for displaying search results is by ascending Accession Number. There are three other options for sorting and displaying search results -- you can choose to display results by the following:
    1. Document Number (alpha-numerically): items with no Document Number will display first
    2. Document Title (alphabetically)
    3. Date Published (chronologically): items where no dates are indicated will display first, then those published in the same year are grouped together. Within that year, records that have no month or day listed display first, then those with just a month and year, then within that month, those with days, months and years (i.e., 1999 then 11/1999, then 11/14/1999, then 12/1999)
  • The following fields have controlled vocabulary:
    1. Document Categories
    2. Corporate Authors
    3. Shelving Locations
    4. Location Extension
  • You must choose a search term from one of the options in the authority lists by clicking on the drop down arrow at the far right of the field.
  • Big searches take time. A search that results in a large number of hits (i.e., over 500) may take several seconds to perform. You will first see the number of results and then it may take several more seconds before the actual results are displayed. To prevent these delays, you may want to narrow your search criteria (i.e., rather than search for all documents that contain "Hanford" in the Title, limit the search to those that contain "Hanford" in the Title that were published after 1993).
  • Each search will retrieve the total number of records in the catalog that match the specified search criteria, but only 50 records are printed or displayed on the screen at a time. If your search returns more than 50 records and you want to print the entire results, you need to print each list of 50 records separately.
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Database Selection

  • The user has three options for selecting what sources are used to retrieve results. Each source option appears in the dropdown menu next to Document Source on the search page
    1. Reading Room and DDRS: Select this choice if you want to retrieve results from the Reading Room catalog and the Hanford Declassified Document Retrieval System (DDRS).
    2. Reading Room Only: Select this choice if you only want results from the Reading Room catalog.
    3. DDRS Only: Select this choice if you only want results from the Declassified Document Retrieval System (DDRS)
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    Refine Search Results

    • To refine your initial search results, select the individual documents using the check box located to the left of the brief record in the search results screen. When you have selected your subset, click on the Retrieve Selected Records button.
    • There is no limit to how many records you can select from a large search, however, only 50 records will be displayed at a time and you will need to use the Previous and Next buttons to navigate within the search results.
    • To return to your original search, use the Original Search Results button.
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    Comparison Operators

    The initial search screen has the comparison operators set on the most commonly used operator. To change the operator for a field, click on the arrow to the right of that field. Not all of the following options are available for all fields:

    • Equals
    • Greater Than or Equals
    • Less Than or Equals
    • Starts With
    • Contains
    • Ends With
    • Does Not Equal
    • Between
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    DDRS Keyword Searching

      The DDRS Keyword search option allows the user to enter words they would like the system to look for in the DDRS records only. Specifically, the system will search the keyword field of the records metadata field. This search may be useful if the user is unsure about the words in a document's title, but knows something about what the document may be about, generally speaking.
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    Document Number Searching

    The quickest search is by document number. Usually the Reading Room catalog contains the document number as it appears on the report, using the rules in the chart below:

    Do NOT use preceding zero's with HW numbers
    i.e. HW-7000 (not HW-07000)
    Enter HW-3- & HW-7- numbers with 2 hyphens
    i.e. HW-3-1234 (not HW 3-1234)
    All documents with these prefixes get entered as below, regardless of how it appears on the actual document
    • ADD for addendum
    • BK for book
    • CH for chapter
    • DEL for declassified with deletions
    • PT for part
    • RD for rough draft
    • REV for revision
    • SEC for section
    • SUP for supplement
    • VOL for volume
    It is generally best to leave off all the suffixes so all variations of a document number will be retrieved
    Example: a search for "document number contains" HW-17381 will retrieve:
    • HW-17381-DEL
    • HW-17381-DEL Rev.1
    • HW-17381-NOTES
    • HW-17381-DEL Rev.2
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    Title Searching

    When searching on titles, the computer will look for exact matches of the search criteria so it is usually best to use just a portion of the title and sometimes to truncate words.

    • Example: searching for "remediat" in the title will retrieve all titles with the words "remediation" and "remidiate" and "remediating" in them.
    • Example: "Environmental monitoring at Hanford" will not retrieve "Environmental monitoring report for Hanford".

    If the Document Title you're searching for contains an acronym or abbreviation, try searching for it with the acronym or abbreviation spelled out as well as just the acronym or abbreviation itself.

    Unless you're positive you have the text exactly right, it is best to use the comparison operator "contains" when searching in the Title field.

    If you enter more than one term in the Title field, that exact phrase must be in the Title of the document.

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    Author Searching

    • You can search by the author's last name or last name and first initial. The initial is optional.
    • Only one name can be searched at a time, even if the report had several authors.
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    Date Searching

    It is usually best to just use the year, but there are 3 possible variations to use when searching a date field:

    • yyyy
    • mm/yyyy
    • mm/dd/yyyy

    Although the search form has a box for both "Start" and "End" you can leave the "End" box empty.

    • Example: if you're looking for documents published in 1855, do a search using the "equals" comparison operator and type 1855 in the "Start" box.

    When using the "Between" operator, beware that it includes the start and end dates.

    • Example: searching for documents between "Start" 1943 and "End" 1945 will retrieve reports dated January 1, 1943 through December 31, 1945.
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    Searching for Electronic Full-text Documents

    The catalog default setting will search for documents available both Electronically and Not Electronically. To limit your search to records that contain URLs with links to the full text, you will need to change the pull-down menu to search for documents that are available electronically. This feature can be used in conjunction with other search criteria to refine your search results.

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    Viewing and Printing Search Results

    Once your search has retrieved records, there are several options for viewing and/or printing the results.

    • The search results screen gives abbreviated information (Accession Number, Document Number, Location on the Reading Room shelves, full Title and the Date Published) about the documents -- to view the complete catalog record for a specific item, click on the Accession Number. This will bring up the "Reading Room Detailed Document Report."
    • The default for displaying search results is by Accession Number. If you did not change the Sort By option in the main catalog search form, you can change it after performing your search. You can sort by Document Number, Title of publication or Date Published, by clicking on the appropriate field label.
    • If you want to reduce the number of records retrieved and only view or print a few on the list, click on the Select box for each record you want. Once all the desired records are marked, click on the Retrieve Selected Records button at the top or bottom of the search results page. This will give you the same abbreviated information that you saw on the earlier screen, but just for the records you chose.
    • You can print search results by clicking on your browser's print button or using the print option under the File menu. You can print either the initial screen with the full list of search results, or a narrowed down list of marked records, or the full catalog record of individual items from the "Reading Room Detailed Document Report."
    • Use the Printer Friendly button for best results.
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