Searching on the PGDC made simple!

The PGDC website uses the award winning Porter Stemming algorithm (See Porter Stemming article in Wikipedia) to improve English-language searching.

The process of stemming reduces each word in the search index to its basic root or stem (e.g. blogging to blog) so that variations on a word (blogs, blogger, blogging, blog) are considered equivalent when searching. This generally results in more relevant search results. Understanding the stem method of search and a couple of other things allow for very granular searches. The best way to understand how to create relevant searches is through the use of the following examples:

  • Type charitable into the search box and press enter or click the right-arrow icon to the right of the search box. The system finds documents with charitable and does so on the basis of relevance (i.e., number of hits and recently viewed data).

  • The PGDC will take you to the Research page where you will see a list of the items found. It will take some time because the site is searching for every document that contains the work charitable, so be patient.

  • Notice that the site found charitable lead trust and charitable remainder trust information. This may or may not be what you were looking for. Change your search phrase to the words charitable remainder trust and the system will produce documents first with all three words and then either word. See the results below.

  • Now the PGDC has found content with the words charitable, trust, charitable remainder trust, charitable remainder, and any combination of the terms or a document with a single term. This is still probably not what you want. Now place quotes around "charitable remainder trust" and click search again.
  • Take a look at your results. We have not produced the image below. What you will find is that all documents found include only the text string charitable remainder trust. Placing quotes around your search terms causes the system to generate documents with the exact string you are searching for.
  • Now, try this. Look at the graphic below. We have told the system to look for all documents with the specific term combination of charitable remainder AND we have selected the year 2012.

  • Now that you have found exactly what you want you can check the box to the left of any articles in whch you have an interest and click Bookmark at the top of the content list to review them at any time. See the image below.

  • You may also select the content by Type, such as article, news, etc. Or by Research Category, or any combination. As you can see, a few simple rules will help you find relevant content on the PGDC. Leave a comment with any questions you may have regarding search.

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