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Broadening Searches

Sometimes a simple search does not produce useful results. The query may not locate any matching documents, the results list may be too short, or the documents in the results list may not contain the information you are looking for. In these instances, you may need to broaden your search in order to retrieve a more promising results list.

OR Operator

To increase the chances of finding a document that matches your query, you can use the OR operator with many synonymous or closely related terms. The OR operator expands your query to find documents containing any or all of the search terms. For example:

The OR operator finds documents that match at least one of the terms in the query. You may find documents that match benzene, but not benzol or hydrocarbon. The documents may also contain more than one term.


The OR operator is also a good way to search through collections that contain documents written either in US or UK English.

For example, the following string finds documents that match either the word behavior or the word behaviour.


Most Verity Query Language operators and modifiers must be enclosed within angle brackets (< >) to distinguish them from the actual query term. The words AND, OR, and NOT are always treated as Verity Query Language operators unless they are enclosed within double quotation marks.

Multiple Words

Verity allows you to search for a sequence of search terms separated by commas. Verity finds documents that match any terms in the query. The Verity search engine calculates the number of times that the terms appear in the document. The more instances found, the higher the document appears in the results list.

For example:

For executing more complex searches, see Combining Operators.

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