WWU search help

Standard search

To conduct a standard search, you can simply enter a word into the search slot and obtain the results immediately without defining any further settings (upper- and lower-case letters play no role). You will find that using the search slot is sufficient for most search queries. To make more complex queries or limit the search parameters, you can use the advanced search function. You can also customise your search query by adding Boolean operators into the search slot, described as follows.

For example, you can:

  • Search for all words:

Enter two or more search terms separated by spaces

Example: "search everything"

Finds documents which contain the terms “search” and “everything”, but not those that contain only one of the terms. Word order has absolutely no effect on the search results. That is, the results would be same for “everything search”.

The programme automatically applies + between the search terms. If you enter “search+everything”, the programme would assume that the plus symbol is part of your search query. Similarly, if you typed “search + everything” (with spaces on both sides of the plus symbol), the programme would search for all documents which contained the words “search”, “everything” and “+”. In this case, the plus symbol is regarded as a search word.

  • Search for any word:

Enter two or more search terms separated by “OR”

Example: "search" OR "everything"

Finds documents which contain either “search” or “everything”, as well as documents which contain both words.

Important: Make sure to type “OR” in capital letters and separate it from the other search terms with spaces. That means this search method will not work if you enter “search or everything” or “searchOReverything”.

  • Search for a specific group of words:

Place a group of search terms inside quotation marks.

Example: "searched words"

Finds all documents which contains both words in exactly this order. With this function, your search will not turn up documents that only contain, for example, “searched” or the phrase “searched and used words”.

  • Exclude words:

Insert a minus symbol in front of the word you wish to exclude

Example: "university -ZIV"

Finds all documents which contain the term “university”, but not “ZIV”. The search results will not include pages containing the word “university” when the abbreviation “ZIV” also appears somewhere on the page.

If you wish to exclude several words, then you have to place a minus symbol before each of these words.

Please note: You must separate each undesired word with a space in front of the minus symbol. If you leave out the space (e.g. “search-term”), the programme will not parse the string as an exclusion, but will interpret the minus symbol as a hyphen.

Excluding an entire sentence:

Of course, you can also exclude whole sentences. To do this, place the minus symbol before the quotation marks.

Example: This -“sentence should be excluded”

  • Search for documents in a certain language:

Add “language:xx” to your search query

Example: "doctorate language:en"

Finds all English-language documents which contain the term “doctorate” View the following language list for a complete list of the available languages and their respective abbreviations.

Important: The operator “language” must be preceded by a space, otherwise the search engine will not interpret the command correctly. No spaces, however, should be placed before or after the colon (:).

  • Search for documents of a certain type:

Add “filetype:xxx” to your search query

Example: "doctorate filetype:doc"

Finds all Microsoft Word documents which contain the term “doctorate”. View the following file type list for more information about the available file types you can search for.

Important: The operator “filetype” must be preceded by a space, otherwise the search engine will not interpret the command correctly. No spaces, however, should be placed before or after the colon (:).

  • Your search query can be a combination of any or all of the above.

Example: münster OR uni ukm -bonn “institute of” filetype:pdf language:es

Find all documents containing the term “münster” or the term “uni”, but always the term “ukm” and the word group “institute of”, but not the term “bonn”. Furthermore, the results will only show Spanish-language documents of the file type “pdf”.

Also note: The more you customise your search, the fewer results you will get. On one hand, this can help you find what you are looking for quickly . But on the other, with a search query as specific as the example above, don’t be surprised if your results turn up nothing.

Advanced search

The advanced search enables you to specify your search query and improve your search results.
The following search options are available:

  • All words

Search for all words: Enter two or more search terms separated by spaces
Example:
"search everything"
Finds documents which contain the terms “search” and “everything”, but not those that contain only one of the terms. The word order doesn’t influence the search results (you could just as well search for “everything search”)

  • Exact phrase

Search for a specific group of words: Enter the search terms, separated by a space.
Example:
"searched words"
Finds all documents which contains both words in exactly this order. However, your search will not turn up documents, for example, which only contain “searched” or the phrase “searched and used words”.

  • Any word

Search for any word: Enter two or more search terms separated by a space.
Example:
"search everything"
Finds all documents which contain either “search” or “everything”, as well as documents which contain both terms.

  • Without the words

Exclude specific words: Enter the term(s) you wish to exclude, separated by a space.
Example:
"ZIV"
Finds all documents which do not contain the term “ZIV”. If the term “ZIV” appears anywhere on the page, the document will not be included in your search results.
Exclude an entire sentence:
Of course, you can also exclude entire sentences (or series of words found exactly in the corresponding order).
To do this, place the sentence or phrase in quotation marks.
Example: “This sentence should be excluded”

Specify a search area: Restrict your search further by selecting a search area.
Example:
"FB 5 Medicine"
Only finds results in the Faculty of Medicine (FB 5). Selecting a search area restricts your search to a certain part of the university and provides results which match the corresponding URL. These search areas and their corresponding URLs are predefined. If you wish to restrict your search to a specific URL, click on the menu heading Domain. There are also predefined search areas for some areas of the website.

Restrict the search area to a specific domain: Enter the name of the domain, to which you wish to restrict your search.
Example:
"www.uni-muenster.de/ZIV/"
Example: "math.uni-muenster.de"
Only lists results found at the ZIV or the Faculty of Mathematics, as well as all subdirectories of the given domain.
Important: If a directory name is attached to the name of the domain, as in the example of the ZIV, you must include “www” in the domain name. If you only provide the domain name, as in the example math.uni-muenster.de, you need not include “www”.
Please note that you may only select ONE domain at a time.

  • Language

Search for documents in a certain language: Restrict your search by selecting a language from the drop-down menu.
Example:
"English"
Finds all English-language documents which contain the term you are searching for. View the following language list for all the available languages and their respective abbreviations.

  • Document type

Search for documents of a certain type: Restrict your search by selecting a file type from the drop-down menu.
Example: "
Word (.doc)"
Finds all Microsoft Word documents which contain the term you are search for. View the following file type list for more information about the available file types you can search for.

  • Site with links to

Search for documents that contain a link to a certain page: Enter the URL to which the page is linked to.
Example:
"http://www.uni-muenster.de/ZIV/"
Finds all documents which contain a link to this specific URL. Of course, the search hits will not necessarily match this URL.
Important: You must enter the complete URL, i.e. don’t forget to include "http://" at the beginning.

  • Your search query can be a combination of any or all of the above.

Example: All words: "ukm"
Specific group of words: "institute of"
Any word: "münster uni"
Without the words: "cologne"
Search areas: "FB4 School of Business and Economics"
Domain: "www1.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/fakultaet/organisation/"
Language: "Spanish"
Document type: "Portable Document Format (.pdf)"
Site with link to: "http://www.uni-muenster.de/"
This search query will find all documents containing the term “ukm” and the word group “institute of”, either the term “münster” or the term “uni” (or both), but not the term “cologne”.
Furthermore, the search engine will find Spanish-language PDFs in the area of the School of Business and Economics (FB 4), and even more specifically in the domain “faculty/organisation”.
And finally, all the resulting documents will contain a link to the University’s home page.
Also note: The more you customise your search, the fewer results you will get. On one hand, this can help you find what you are looking for quickly. But on the other, with a search query as specific as the example above, don’t be surprised if your results turn up nothing.

Your search results will be shown below the standard search slot. However, your search restrictions aren’t lost after your search. The complete query, comprised of all the specific data you entered in the search slots in the advanced search, is simply transferred to standard search field – along with their corresponding operators. If you wish to modify your search, you can either do this in the standard search field or click on “advanced search” where can enter the new search terms in the respective slots.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?

You can also customise your search further by reading our advice for advanced searches. The advantage of using the advanced search is that a separate slot is provided for each search term, and you don’t have to worry about inserting special symbols for the search engine to understand you.

Did you restrict the search area in your query? If so, after the message “No search results were found”, there will be a reference to the search area restriction with a link to conduct an unrestricted search. Try it again!

  • Ask yourself what exactly you’re trying to find. For instance, if you know that a certain sentence or phrase can be found on a page somewhere, enter these words in the field “Specific group of words” using the advanced search. If you know what you’re looking for is located in an English-language document, select “English” in the “Language” drop-down menu to restrict your search to English documents. It’s worth customising your search if you are looking for specific terms that are used conventionally or in multiple ways.
  • If your search turns up too many unsuitable matches, you might be shown pages about topics that have absolutely nothing to do with what you’re looking for. You can exclude these terms from your query by using the “Without the words” function.
  • Did you use the options Search Areas and Domain together in the advanced search? It helps if they correspond with one another. If you are searching the area ZIV, but restrict your query to the domain "math.uni-muenster.de," you won’t get any results because "math.uni-muenster.de" doesn’t overlap with the search area "ZIV." Since no data is shared by both areas, you won’t get any results.
    If you wish to use both options at the same time, make sure to choose a domain which restricts your desired search area. For example, choose the area ZIV and restrict it further by entering the domain "permail.uni-muenster.de," which, in fact, does belong to the "ZIV" search area.


The “Did you mean” function

Many Google users are familiar with the “Did you mean” function. The search engine analyses your search term and suggests an alternative term – especially if there’s a similar word which seems more plausible or would result in more matches.
For instance, if you typed “Physcs” into the search slot, the programme would suggest the more likely (and correctly spelled) word “Physics” at the top of the list of results.
Example: You are looking for a person named “Muller”.
The search engine will suggest the more likely variant “Müller” as it comes up far more frequently. Nonetheless, you will be shown all the results that match your entry “Muller”.


Info symbols

Whether you use the standard or advanced search, you will notice that certain terms are accompanied by a small info symbol .
If you move the pointer of your mouse over the symbol, a help window will appear in the corresponding area. As soon as you move the pointer away, the window will disappear again.
Clicking on the info symbol pulls up the corresponding help page concerning that particular topic.
If your search turns up more than one page of results, page navigation symbols will appear in the grey-coloured bar at the bottom of the page. You can page forwards and backwards by clicking on :: vorheriger Ergebnisausschnitt and :: nächster Ergebnisausschnitt. If you have navigated many pages ahead, the symbol :: erster Ergebnisausschnitt will appear so that you can quickly return to the first page of results.


KeyMatches

Certain search terms trigger so-called KeyMatches in the search engine. These are search results which are particularly relevant to the University of Münster. These are presented to you at the top of the list of search results. You can recognise which terms are KeyMatches by their yellow background.
A KeyMatch is comprised of a title with accompanying link and the URL to which this link directs you. For instance, if you search for “environmental protection”, one of your results will be the KeyMatch “WWUmwelt” which carries the URL “http://www.uni-muenster.de/WWUmwelt/” (but no link).


Predefined search areas

Some search areas have been predefined for certain areas of the website. This occurs in places where restricted search queries are expected, for example, in University press releases. If you enter a query in this search field, the area “Press Office” will be automatically selected for you.
To ensure that you don’t unintentionally search in a restricted area and fail to receive the results you desire, the search area is always indicated above the corresponding results.
If you wish to delete the automatic restriction, click on the option “All search areas”. If you wish to change the search area, click on the option “advanced search” and choose your desired search area from the corresponding drop-down menu.
Also note: Your search terms aren’t lost by clicking on “advanced search” – provided that you have already submitted your search query once.


List of available file types and their abbreviations

You can append the following abbreviations to the filetype: command in your standard search query.
doc = Microsoft Word documents
pdf = Adobe pdf documents
ps = Postscript documents
xls = Microsoft Excel documents
ppt = Microsoft Powerpoint documents
rtf = Rich Text Format documents

In the advanced search, you can select file types from the drop-down menu.


List of available languages and their abbreviations

You can append the following abbreviations to the filetype: command in your standard search query.
de = German
en = English
fr = French
da = Danish
nl = Dutch
cs = Czech
es = Spanish
pl = Polish
sv = Swedish
ko = Korean
ja = Japanese
pt = Portuguese
it = Italian
ru = Russian
el = Greek
fi = Finnish
ro = Romanian
is = Icelandic
hu = Hungarian
ar = Arabic
et = Estonian
iw = Hebrew
lv = Latvian
lt = Lithuanian
zh-TW = Chinese (traditional)
zh-CN = Chinese (simplified)

In the advanced search, you can select the desired language from the drop-down menu.