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At a glance - ecoi.net search tips

Simple Search:

- Go to a country page ("Choose country"); a country page offers a list of selected important documents, country-specific links, profiles & maps, as well as national laws

- Enter your search term(s)

Advanced Search

- Click on "Advanced Search" to refine your search
- Choose Source, Type of Document, Language and Publishing Date according to your needs
- Select whether or not to include the ecoi.net-Thesaurus ("Consider related terms in search query")
- Enter your search term(s)

How do I combine search terms?


(default connection)
finds documents containing all the search terms
"Tamil Tigers" AND government AND talks
"Tamil Tigers" government talks

both lead to the same results: finding documents containing the phrase Tamil Tigers, and the term government, and the term talks

finds documents containing one of the search terms
conscription OR desertion
finds documents containing either conscription, or desertion, or both

excludes search terms
genocide NOT Darfur
finds documents containing the term genocide, but not the term Darfur

How do I group search terms?


quotation marks define a group of words as phrase and search for the whole phrase
"organised crime"
finds documents containing the whole phrase organised crime

search operators can be grouped logically using parentheses
(homosexual OR lesbian) AND discrimination
finds documents containing the term discrimination, and either homosexual or lesbian
"... ..."~n

Proximity Search
finds terms that are within a distance of n words from each other
"amnesty rebels"~5
finds documents containing the terms amnesty and rebels within a distance of 5 words from each other

How do I search for spelling variations?

? Wildcard Search:
placeholder for exactly one character (cannot be used at the beginning of a word)
finds documents containing, for instance, Taliban, or Taleban
* Wildcard Search:

placeholder for any number of characters (from zero to many, within one word; cannot be used at the beginning of a word)
finds documents containing words beginning with homosex, for instance: homosexual, homosexuals, homosexuality, as well as the German words homosexuell, Homosexualität, etc.
~ Fuzzy Search:
finds words that are spelled in a similar way as your search term
finds documents that contain, for instance, Qanuni as well as Qanooni
Did you mean:... suggests words that are similar to the last entered search term, if nothing is found

Moderated Search - The COI Thesaurus (English and German)

The ecoi.net search engine automatically includes English and German synonyms and near synonyms of your search terms. This has been made possible by linking a bi-lingual COI Thesaurus to our search.

Furthermore, a "Moderated Search" helps you to narrow down or to broaden your search.  Whenever you search for a word included in the COI Thesaurus, the Moderated Search suggests broader, narrower and related terms. Click on the check-box of the appropriate search operator, and the term will be added to your search terms.

Click here to see examples for broadening or narrowing down your search with the Moderated Search.

Searching for an ecoi.net ID

If you know the ecoi.net ID number of a document, you can access the document by searching for ID, followed by a space, followed by the number. For instance: To perform an ID-search for a report of the UN Security Council with the ecoi.net ID number 238354, you enter ID 238354 into the search field and start the search. This will lead you to the report: http://www.ecoi.net/en/document/238354

Print-out leaflet

You can download these search tips in the form of a foldable leaflet. Save the link below and print it out double-sided.

ecoi.net leaflet