New Search Feature improves Relevance of Results

Our search engine now considers documents containing English and German terms related to your search terms. This will increase the number of relevant results. This has been made possible by linking a thesaurus to our search engine.

In cooperation with the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna and punkt.netServices we have started developing a bi-lingual thesaurus covering COI specific terminology. Our main motivation is to improve access to information through our search engine.

Bi-lingual Searches

One of the main challenges of retrieving information is to overcome language barriers. The great majority of documents featured on is in English, around 20 percent of the information is in German. By linking the bi-lingual thesaurus to our search engine related terms in the other language will also be included in your search query (if they are contained in the thesaurus).

Example: A search query for IDPs will also include equivalent German terms. Therefore the search engine will also find documents containing the German terms Binnenvertriebene, Binnenflüchtlinge or Intern Vertriebene.

Inclusion of Related Terms

Often different terms are used to describe the same. Therefore synonyms and different spellings of terms contained in our thesaurus will be included in your search query.

Example: A search query for female genital cutting will include related English terms. Therefore the search engine will also find documents containing the terms FGM, female genital mutilation or female circumcision.

You may switch this feature off by deselecting the inclusion of related terms under the advanced search options.

Contact us for clarifications or feedback on this new search feature.


We would like to thank the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany and the Federal Office for Migration in Switzerland for their valuable input on structure and terms for our thesaurus. The International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology of UNHCR and FMO as well as the HURIDOCS Micro-thesauri were of great help in identifying relevant terms to be contained in our thesaurus.

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