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Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

Advanced search

To support more complex searches, the CESSDA Data Catalogue provides an Advanced Search option that includes a variety of Boolean and other search operators for enhanced searching capabilities.

AND operation

To perform the AND operation, use ‘+’ in the search box. Entering funding + education in the search box will give you the same results as searching funding education since the AND operation is the default in the system.

OR operation

Use ‘|’ in the search box for OR operation. If you want to get results where any of the search terms appears, or exercise, perform a search using: sport | exercise.

NOT operation

Use both ‘+’ and ‘-’ in the search for the NOT operation. This enables exclusion of studies containing specific words or phrases. For example, to find datasets about elections but not presidential elections, enter elections + -presidential. Note: it is important to avoid leaving an empty space before the - to ensure accurate exclusion of the word after -.

To search for exact phrases, where specific words are in a particular order, put the phrase in quotation marks. This will give results containing the exact phrase. For instance: “covid-19” or “Angela Merkel”.

To search for various endings of a root word, use the “*” sign at the point where the spelling of the word could change. For example, nurs* will give you nurse, nurses, nursing, and so. However, nurse* will not give “nursing”. Note: Elastic search will carry out some stemming in the search automatically.

Parentheses can be used to build a search with a combination of search operators. They signify precedence, that is, the search within the parentheses is executed first. This approach is valuable for performing searches where alternate phrasings of the same topic may be included.

For instance, consider the search: (“health care”) | (“health services”), This will give results that contain either health care or health services as exact phrases. If you search instead using (“health care”) + (“health services”) (i.e. an AND search instead of an OR search), you will get results that include both the phrases health care and health services.


See Advanced Search examples.

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