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Newstext is a powerful, robust search engine and by following the tips below, you'll be an expert at finding the articles you want.
Why can't I find it? I know it was in the paper!
Check the dates of your search. By default, a Newstext search is set for the last 30 days. Pick a longer time span using the buttons under the search field windows to find more articles.
Are you sure what paper it was in? Try searching other publications.
To search more than one publication at once, hold down the CONTROL key on your keyboard and select other titles from the pull-down menu of newspapers.
Don't be insulted by this suggestion, but are you sure you've got the spelling right?
Try putting in fewer search terms, or use OR between the terms to widen your search.
Use all lower case - not capital letters
BEST OF ALL, READ THIS HELP SECTION. It's written by journalists, so should be easy to understand
Search terms or keywords
Type what you are looking for in the search field. A
is a word or words.
If you want to find articles about ferrets, type in the keyword
The search can handle multiple words, so if you are looking for articles about
, type in the keywords john howard
Type it all in
- then Newstext will look for caps AND lower case. If the headline is
and you type in
then Newstext will not find it.
If you are searching for articles containing words that do not necessarily follow each other, then separate them with the word
- an example: searching for
will find few if any articles, but searching for
cricket and rain
will locate plenty.
Then click Search, and Newstext will hunt for articles containing those terms.
Now, to really refine your search, read on!
Fine-Tuning that search string
If keywords or search terms are separated by a comma, Newstext will find stories with any of the search terms. So if you search for
gross national product, national savings
it will find all stories with the phrases
gross national product
A search for
gross national product and national savings
will find stories including both those terms.
This acts like a comma and finds stories with any one of the search terms.
A search for
duck not cricket
will find stories about the bird variety of ducks but not the cricketing kind. A search for
duck and pond not cricket
also will find stories about the bird variety of duck. A search for
duck and cricket not pond
will find stories about the cricket variety of duck.
If the word and/or/not is part of the search term, enclose it in double quotes. So
bacon "and" eggs
will search for the phrase
bacon and eggs
rather than the terms
When mixing ands and ors, as in
schwarten or borbidge and minister
is not exclusive. So you might find stories with just
schwarten; or with all three words
AND takes precedence over the OR.
Try using brackets, as in
(schwarten or borbidge) and minister
Upper case, Lower case
Using all lower case (or upper case) will find both upper and lower case. So planet and PLANET find the same stories. Using upper and lower case, as in Planet, finds only instances of upper and lower case. The command case (in chevron brackets) finds acronyms such as ALP or QTC. It is entered thus: <case> ALP.
Brackets will tell Newstext what you think is more important. For example, searching for
(howard or crean) not refugee
will find all documents with the words "Howard" OR "Crean". From these documents, all those that contain the word "refugee" will be excluded.
The brackets work because the search engine puts more importance on
. If you didn't use the brackets, you'll see all articles with the word howard,
all those documents which mention crean but don't also contain the word "refugee". Simple, hmm?
Newstext supports apostrophes. Search for O'Chee and Newstext will find results. Search for OChee and it won't.
Limit to Publications
The pull-down publication menu enables you to search individual papers, or groups of papers. If you hold down the CONTROL button on your keyboard you can use your mouse to select various titles in the pull-down menu of publication titles, thus enabling a multiple search.
Newstext presents the results in descending date order (the most recent at the top). You can change the sorting order by clicking on Date and selecting Relevance. This will order your search results according to the number of "hits" or mentions of the search term/s found in each story (the stories with the most hits will be on top). You can change Decending to Ascending so the search order is oldest to newest or least number of hits to most hits.
Maximum Results in List
You can pick how many results you want - the choice is 100, 200, 500 or 800. 800 is the maximum. Refine your search to ensure the article you want is within those 800 results.
By default, Newstext will search back 30 days. This can be changed to 14 days, 90 days, 365 days, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years or Unlimited by clicking to insert a dot in the "radio button" next to the preferred option. The longer you go back, the longer the search will take. You can specify a date or narrow it down by filling in the "From" box and the "To" box in the format 25/12/2002 - which of course is December 25th, 2002
By default, the search engine will find extensions of a word. Searching for shoot also finds shoots and shooting and shooter. Searching for "shoot" in double quotes finds only shoot.
Two wildcards can be used -
The * can be used to extend your search, thus
will find network, netting, nettle, and so on.
It can be used to take the place of any number of characters. Thus
tracy, tracey, tractability, tracery
or any other word which begins with
and ends with
and has any number of letters in between. Question mark ?
A question mark takes the place of a specific character.
bacon, basin, baton, baden
, or any other word which begins with
and ends with
and has only two letters in between.
before your search word finds things which might be literals (typographical or spelling error in a word or words) or spelling variations as in behaviour and behavior.
But it is fairly flexible. A search on
baron, heron, kieron, byron, boron, berton
. Likewise, a search on
major, for, Labor, far
A search for
finds stories containing that phrase. The same search for
international <near> finance
finds stories with the words as far apart as nine paragraphs.
international <sentence> finance
finds those terms in the same sentences.
international <paragraph> finance
finds those terms in the same paragraph (or within about three paragraphs)
Newstext is fairly flexible with punctuation. A search for
good cop bad cop
will find combinations such as the following:
good cop/bad cop; good cop-bad cop; good cop, bad cop; good-cop bad-cop.
By specifying the punctuation, the search is narrowed and finds the specific search term (including the specified punctuation).
to narrow down the search using various fields.
If you are looking for a specific story and can remember a word from the headline, type it in this field.
Use surname only - but useful only if the story had a byline. Some bylines are actually part of a graphic image and thus not indexed. (You can also try searching for the name as if it was part of the text. Some newspapers do not use the byline field when archiving.) The style used is given name followed by surname e.g. Greg Sheridan.
Many articles are published with illustrations. Often the words in the caption under the photo are included with the article. Newstext plans eventually to give users the option of displaying the photos or illustrations with each article.
Current Library Fields
Newstext is a unique living resource, using data from 150 newspapers. That data was originally collected for the use of our journalists and editors. Most newspaper libraries had their own method of indexing and categorising their articles, and Newstext is still grappling with the problem of reconciling those different categories. So, with some hesitation in that Newstext still hasn't finished mapping the tens of thousands of fields the News Limited libraries use, here's a guide to some of the fields created by our libraries to help you find elusive articles. It is especially useful to search in particular types or groups of articles.
And please note, currently this works best for
The Australian, The Weekend Australian, the Daily Telegraph
Contains the edition details.
Editions can be referred to in many different ways - First edition, Second edition, State edition, Metropolitan edition, Late edition, Final edition, Newcastle edition, Wollongong edition, South Coast edition, etc.
In the past these have also been subject to change thereby creating inconsistencies in retrieving via the edition field.
Therefore we use numerical equivalents - 1, 2 & 3 for The Australian, 1, 2, 3, & 4 for the Daily Telegraph and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 for the Sunday Telegraph
As expected, this field contains the page number. This is normally a straight forward number but at times may include a letter.
This is to identify separate runs of pagination within a single publication - The Weekend Australian for example has the main book page numbers and then separate pagination for some sections such as Careers and Review, and sometimes a special insert.
To distinguish each section and allow for images to be retained these each carry a letter e.g. C01, , R01, etc
Contains the name of regular columns. Examples would be Historical Feature (in the Daily Telegraph), Benelong (in the Sunday Telegraph), Leader (for the editorial piece common to all publications).
Columns are regular features appearing usually daily or weekly. But columns come and go. As Newstext goes back years, the list is so long as to be unmanageable. But if you know the column, type it in, eg the Melba column in the Weekend Australian, and thus restrict your search to those columns.
Short for bigoraphy, and in the newspaper industry sometimes referred to as a profile. This is usually a detailed feature article on an individual - the Prime Minister, an actor, sportsperson, etc. The name of the subject of this piece is placed in the Biography field e.g. John Howard, Mel Gibson, Mark Waugh.
This field indicates the overall sections of the papers. These are the fields that work well for the papers indexed in Sydney (
The Australia, The Weekend Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sportsman
- Entertainment, leisure, lifestyle type pages, used to be referred to as women's pages
- The business or finance pages
- Pages containing the local news. Local meaning Australian news content
- The colour magazine published in The Australian, or other papers as available
- Review sections of the Saturday papers
- Sports pages
- World news pages
This field contains details of the overall nature or type of the article. They are:
- political or electoral advertising, relevant to current news issues
- published correction acknowledging an error previously published.
- a large, splashy piece usually containing useful details, statistics, background
- the opinion piece, often called the Editorial. The collective voice of the paper!
- letter to the editor
- formal obituary of an individual
- in house promotion or publicity not usually linked to a competition
- a linked series of articles typically published over several days or weeks
- A printed wrap-around the main paper, eg Melbourne Cup cover
- Advertorial, feature carrying paid advertising
Web Site Review
This field indicates the type of illustrative material that was published with an article. It is not a caption. Some of this material may be available on Newsphotos at
. The illustrations are indexed as follows:
This contains the name of the person responsible for illustrative content - the photographer, cartoonist, artist, etc when known
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