The following sections describe the syntax for creating your own search strings.

Order, Case

By default, Heurist searches are partial string matches and require ALL search terms to be present.

The search terms need not be in order, adjacent or whole words, and are is not case-sensitive.


To match an entire phrase, enclose in double quotes. For example, searching "sydney university" will match all records with a title containing 'sydney university' in that order, as a complete phrase; whereas searching sydney university (without the double-quotes) will match records with both 'sydney' and 'university', anywhere in the title, such as 'University of New South Wales, Sydney'.


If multiple search terms are provided, their effect is ANDed: Heurist returns only the records matching all the search terms. For example, searching keyword:timelines keyword:mapping matches only records that have been marked with the keyword timelines and the keyword mapping.

To match at least one of the search terms, place uppercase OR between them. For example, searching keyword:timelines OR keyword:mapping matches records that have been marked with either of the timelines or mapping keywords.


To exclude records in which a search term occurs, use a minus (-) sign immediately at start of term, without space: -temporal

Equal (=)

To match values without partial string matching, use an equals sign instead of a colon: title="google calendar"

Less than, Greater Than (<>)

To match values that are less than or greater than the search term, use < and > instead of a colon: field:year>1980


A term may be omitted from the results by preceding the term with a single dash. For example, searching university matches any record which has university in the title, and does not have in the URL.

Temporal Map

Temporal map requires that both temporal and map be present somewhere in the title.

Temporal will also match temporality and map will match mapping and unmappable.


Use modifiers to search specific parts of the bookmarks/records:

  • type:
  • tag:
  • url:
  • notes:
  • workgroup:
  • user:
  • field:
  • all:

Special Data Fields

To match values in a particular field in the data, specify the field followed by the search term:


Search for records with xxx in the title.

This is also the default search if no field is specified.


Only search records of the given type.

The parameter xxx may describe the record type by name, for example type:book or type:"internetbookmark"; or by numerical identifier, for example type:3 (journal article).


Search for records tagged with the given keyword xxx.

Note that this search will also match records tagged with a keyword that begins with the search term; for example, searching for keyword:time will find records keyworded with time and timemap, but not maritime or multimedia.


Search for records which have been bookmarked by the specified user.

The parameter xxx may be a user's name, for example user:"Ian Johnson"; or a user ID, for example user:224.


Search for records with xxx anywhere in the URL.

For example, url:google will find records with URL, and


Search for records with xxx anywhere in your private notes (if searching "My Resources") or the information scratchpad (if searching "All Resources").



date:xxx modified:xxx

Search for records that were last modified before / after / on the given date. The date may be specified as an ISO format date (e.g. before:2007-10-28), using human-readable date formats (e.g. after:"3 June 2006"), or as a relative date (e.g. date:"last Tuesday" or after:"60 days ago" or after:"today").

It is also possible to specify the date down to one-second precision (e.g. before:"12.30pm November 22" or date="1945-07-16 05:29:45"). Additionally, operators such as modified>2001-09-11, modified<yesterday may be used.


Search for records that were added before / after / on the given date. The date may be specified as above. For example, added>yesterday.

Public Data Fields

The Public Data Fields are the set of fields which are defined for each of the record types (book, journal, historical event, person, research group, institution, C14 date etc.) and appear on the Shared Info tab of the editing form (pale blue background).

The fields vary between record types, however different record types may (and often do) share some of the same fields.


Search for records containing xxx in any of the shared data fields.



Search for records in shared data field abc containing the string xxx. If xxx is omitted, search for records that have any value in field abc.

The field identifier abc may be the name of the field, for example field:"AuthorEditor":Hill, or the field's numerical identifier, field:196:Hill.

=, < and > operators may be used. For example: f:123=456, f:"date added"<yesterday.

Note. The same field, e.g. 196 (Author/Editor), may be used in different record types and may appear to be labeled differently in different record types; for example, AuthorEditor may be called Author for Journal Articles and Editor for Journals.

Geographic Search

To find records with geographic objects that contain a given point, use the latitude and longitude search terms (e.g. latitude:10 longitude:100). These may be used in conjunction with the =, < and > modifiers.


Search for records with a geographic object that includes the given latitude


Search for records with a geographic object that includes the given longitude


Search for records with a geographic object that lies entirely south of the given latitude


Search for records with a geographic object that lies entirely north of the given latitude


Search for records with a geographic object that lies entirely west of the given longitude


Search for records with a geographic object that lies entirely east of the given longitude


Search for records with a geographic point with exactly the given latitude


Search for records with a geographic point with exactly the given longitude


Sorting can be by title, by web address, by date added or modified, by any of the shared data fields or by popularity (defined in relation to a specified groups of colleagues, and hence to a discipline or domain).

Heurist normally sorts search results alphabetically by title. Sorting by relevance allows one to discover resources that colleagues in particular fields rate highly, or to find resources which have been recently added or modified.


where xxx can be "id", "url", "modified", "added", "title" or "rating" (with the obvious meanings); "popularity" to sort according to how many times each record has been bookmarked; or sortby:field:abc / sortby:field:abc:m


  • abc is the numerical identifier of a field (internally, bib_detail.bdt_id). Note that field can be abbreviated to f.
  • the optional m (multiple) parameter causes records to be displayed in more than one location in the list if the sort field has more than one value. For example, the normal behaviour where there are multiple authors is to display the record once, alphabetically sorted by first author. If m is specified, the record will be displayed once for each of the authors in the appropriate alphabetical locations.

Retrieving Specific Records

The Heurist search engine can be asked to retrieve a specific set of records by supplying their Heurist IDs.


Where xxx is a comma-separated list of internal record IDs (the unique identifier for each record in Heurist).

Search URL Parameters

The Advanced Search window, and the search field, are simply convenient ways of entering information which is converted into a search URL. For example:

  • .../search.php?q=kwd%3AFavourites&s=t&w=bookmark&ver=1&cf=1
  • /q=tag:Favourites&w=bookmark

Search URLs can be entered directly, for example if one wishes to construct a hyperlink in a web page which will bring up a particular Heurist search. There is a fairly straightforward translation from search string to URL which can be worked out by doing some searches and comparing the string with the URL. The following parameters, though, are less obvious, and are listed here for those who wish to use this feature.

w = bookmark | biblio | all


  • bookmark means restrict search to your personal bookmark data;
  • biblio means restrict search to public record data;
  • all means to search both

s = a | m | t | u

Sort by:

a = Added date;

m = Modified date;

t = Title;

u = URL

ver = 1

Records the search version, no function at present but may be used later to trap direct references which use an outdated format.

cf = 1

Clear the search fields when the search results are displayed (if omitted the search fields continue to display the search criteria). Clearing the fields is useful when one will most likely immediately type a different search, as in the case of the default Favourites search which is run when Heurist is loaded.

Retrieving Relationships and Pointers

Retrieve the set of records which are pointed to within the public information of a record (e.g.. all the authors listed for a paper, all the projects listed for an organisation), which point to a record in their public information, or which are connected with a record by relationship records:


The set of records which have pointers (in their public information) TO this record (this includes all relationship records in which the record is involved).


The set of records which are pointed to (in the public information) BY this record.


The set of related records - that is, records which have relationships (relationship records) with this record.


The set of relationship records plus the records involved in those relationships, for this record (that is, all the related records, plus their relationships).

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