SEARCH HINTS & TIPS

Search is an important feature of hsbglobalstandards.com. If used properly, the Search utility will help you to quickly find the documents that are most relevant to your current needs. If you're familiar with Search engines that use boolean logic (and most do), then the Search utility should be familiar to you. If you're new to searching, or simply want a brief refresher, we've provided some hints and tips to help you get the most out of your visits to hsbglobalstandards.com.

Boolean search engines use "operators" as shorthand, so you don't have to type in a lengthy search string to find what you're looking for. Operators can be either words or symbols. Although operators can save you lots of time, they can also cause some problems if you don't know how to use them. Because the operators symbolize a search operation, they are not recognized as anything other than an operator by the search engine, unless you enclose them in quotes. In other words the operator "OR" is not treated as the word 'or' by the search engine. There are some important implications in this search logic, particularly when you're searching for some of the unique content found on this site (such as Code paragraphs).

Searching for Code References

If you're looking for documents referencing specific Code paragraphs, you'll need to use parentheses in many of your searches. Parentheses are NOT recognized by the Search utility, unless you enclose them in quotes. For example, to find documents referencing Code paragraph UW-16(d), you must enter "UW-16(d)" in the search window. In addition to the paragraph number, there is another useful and unique identifier associated with all ASME Code documents. This identifier is the "BC Number" (BC stands for Boiler Code). To illustrate the importance of the BC number, let's say you're discussing a particular Code document with a colleague working in another location. You can use the BC number to ensure that both of you are, in fact, referring to the same Code document. You will find that some BC documents are of the style BC01-570, while others are of the style BC-89-032. These file numbers were entered in a manner consistent with the format found in the original ASME Interpretations.

It is recommended that when searching for a document that has a BC or BC- prefix, you replace the BC or BC- with an asterisk (*) which is called a "wildcard" search character. Therefore, for the two file numbers shown above, in the search field you would enter either *01-570 or *89-032. These two searches would return the two file numbers respectively.

Search Operators

The search operators recognized by the hsbglobalstandards.com Search utility are described below for your convenience. We'll use several sample phrases to illustrate the use of the operators with the Search utility. We don't mean to imply that any of the sample documents described actually exist in the databases, or that you will find them if you actually use the Search utility. If the documents did exist, the search engine would interact with them as per the following description(s):

AND - The AND operator finds documents containing all the words or conditions linked by the operator. For example, entering 'cat AND dog AND fish' in the search window finds all documents that contain the three words - cat, dog, and fish. Returning to the example we cited in the previous paragraph, a document containing the phrase 'my cat and dog like to fish', would be returned if you entered the search string we've just described. The AND operator will find any document that contains the words and/or conditions linked by the operator, no matter what order they appear in the document.

OR, ACCRUE, , (comma) - These operators find documents containing either of the conditions or words entered in the search window, and returns them ranked by the number of appearances in the document. For example, if you entered 'cat OR dog OR fish' in the search window, a document containing the phrase 'my cat is red' would be returned by the Search utility, as would documents containing the phrases - 'my cat and dog went to the theater', 'my dog is green', or 'I like to fish'. Get the picture? If an additional document containing the phrase 'my cat, my neighbor's cat, my dog, and his fish went to the theater' would also show up in the search results, and would be the first document listed in the search results. (The word 'cat', contained in the search string, appears twice in this document and only once in the other three documents we used for our example). Remember the links to documents returned in search results are ordered by the number of appearances of relevant words or conditions when you use the OR, ACCRUE, or , (comma) operators. ACCRUE is rumored to work best of these three operators for sorting results by relevance.

NOT, not - These operators make the query negative. In other words, the Search utility looks for documents containing the word(s) and/or condition(s) preceding the operator, but that don't contain the word(s) and/or condition(s) following the operator. For example, if you entered 'cat NOT fish' in the search window, a document containing the phrase 'my cat and dog went to the theater' would show up in the search results, but a document containing the phrase 'my cat likes to eat fish' would not.

" " - If you enclose the search string in quotes, the Search utility will return a list of links to all documents that contain text that duplicates the search string exactly. For example, if you search on 'cat dog fish', the Search utility would return documents containing the phrase 'cat dog fish', but would not return a document containing the phrase 'my cat and dog like to fish'. By default, if you don't provide any operators in the search string you input in the search window, the Search utility will search as though you had enclosed the search string in quotes. Search is not case-sensitive, meaning you don't need to worry about capitalization of letters. "ASME" finds "asme", and so on.

? - The question mark is a wildcard. It represents any single letter, but does not work with dates or numbers. For example, '?one' finds documents containing 'bone', 'cone', 'done', 'gone', and any other four-letter words that end with 'one'. '???ck' finds documents containing 'stack', 'clock', 'stick', 'truck', etc. CAUTION: Although the judicious use of wildcards can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your searches, you should keep in mind that there are several thousands of documents in the databases you can access on hsbglobalstandards.com. Using wildcards incautiously can generate a huge number of returned documents, which can also slow down your system or even lock it up depending upon your connection speed. Try to avoid searching for generic or broad terms. In other words, searching on the word 'code' on this site might return a fair number of documents, and keep you waiting for a while!

* - The asterisk is also a wildcard. It represents any extension of letters but does not work with dates or numbers. For example, '*one' finds 'bone', 'clone', 'cyclone', etc. '*one*' finds documents containing 'bone', 'clone', 'lonely', 'phoned', 'pardoned', etc. CAUTION: Although the judicious use of wildcards can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your searches, you should keep in mind that there are several thousands of documents in the databases you can access on hsbglobalstandards.com. Using wildcards incautiously can generate a huge number of returned documents, which can also slow down your system or even lock it up depending upon your connection speed. Try to avoid searching for generic or broad terms. In other words, searching on the word 'code' on this site might return a fair number of documents, and keep you waiting for a while!