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NCEI Paleo Search Help

The NCEI Paleo search interface is divided into two sections: general and advanced.

General Search

When using general search, simply choose one or more Data Publishers, and enter some text to search for. By default all Data Types are searched, but you can select one or more to limit your search to only studies of the selected types.

The text search field supports Oracle Text parameters, such as 'AND', 'OR', and wildcards '%' and '_'. Special characters, like hyphens (-), semicolons (;), and single quotes ('), can be searched literally by escaping them with a backslash (\), for example as '\-' for a hyphen. See the api documentation entry for searchText for more details.

Advanced Search

Advanced search uses the fields from the general section, as well as several more detailed options. Note that, due to the granularity of metadata provided to us, many of these options are not available depending on which Data Providers are selected. Some options, such as tree species, are only available for certain Data Types. For all fields, if nothing is specified by the user then the field does not constrain the search. If values from more than one field are selected, the result is the intersection of those groups of values.

  • Investigators, Locations, Keywords, and Species: Click on one or more values from the options on the left to constrain the search. If more than one value is selected, choose AND or OR to find studies containing all of the values or any of them. Each shuttle contains a filter area where text can be entered to narrow the list of selectable values. This text does not affect search results. Note that investigators' names are not standardized between publishers, and may appear multiple times in a select box with different abbreviations (e.g. "Abbot, Mark B." and "Abbot, M.B.").
  • Location Lat/Lon/Elevation: Values can be entered to constrain the search to a specific area, or the bounding box on the map can be manually resized. Latitudes should be within the range -90 to 90, and Longitudes from -180 to 180. Longitude values can cross the antimeridian, e.g. the range 170 to -170 is valid. Elevations can be positive or negative.
  • Variables: Terms can be chosen to constrain the types of measurements returned. Measured quantities are described using terms from the PaST Thesaurus in all but five data types (Other Collections, Plant Macrofossils, Pollen, Repository, Software), which can be searched using Keywords. Searches can be made on controlled terms for three fields: the quantity being measured ("What"), the material on which the measurement was made ("Material"), and the season being explicitly reconstructed ("Seasonality"). Search results include the union of multiple terms selected for the same field and the intersection of terms selected for each of the three fields, for example: ["What #1" OR "What #2"] AND ["Material #1"] AND ["Seasonality #1"].
  • Time: Time can be searched in years CE or years BP. These are functionally equivalent when converted correctly, and are provided for convenience only. Time constraints can be applied in three ways:
    • Overlap Any: Matches studies where any part of the time coverage lies between the specified min and max
    • Entirely Overlapped By: Matches studies with time coverages that completely bound the specified min and max
    • Overlap Entirely: Matches studies with time coverages that are completely bounded by the specified min and max