DTIC Search Tips


This document introduces basic search concepts, and describes advanced techniques that produce more efficient search results. Search terms are highlighted in the text version of the document to help you quickly find the most relevant text within documents. When only the citation is available for a document, the search terms will be highlighted in the "cached" citation.


Getting Started with DTIC Search



Getting Started


To enter a query, type in a few descriptive words and press the Enter key or click the Search button for a list of relevant results. A results page appears with a list of documents and Web pages that are related to your search terms, with the most relevant search results appearing at the top of the page. By default, only pages that include all of your search terms are returned. To broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms. You do not need to include "and" between the terms. For example, to search for engineering product specification documents, enter:





A single spelling suggestion is returned with the results for queries where the spell checker has detected a possible spelling mistake. The spell checker feature is context sensitive.




Search terms are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you enter them, are handled as lower case. For example, searches for "Naval Post Graduate School," "naval post graduate school," and "Naval post graduate school" return the same results.


Common Words


The search engine ignores common words and characters also known as stop words. These include most pronouns and articles. The search engine automatically disregards such terms as "where" and "how," as well as certain single digits and single letters. These terms rarely help to narrow a search and can significantly slow searching. The search engine indicates that a common word has been excluded by not highlighting the term on the results page.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a plus ("+") sign in front of it. Include a space before the "+" sign, but not after it. For example, to search for Mark VIII, enter:


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Automatic "AND" Operator


By default, the search engine only returns results that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. For example, to search for the battery recycling schedule, enter:


To broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms.


Using "OR" Operator


You can expand your search by using the OR operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase �OR� between terms. For example, to search for the terms chemical or biological, enter:





Every search result lists one or more snippets, or excerpts from the document, to display the search terms in context. In the snippet, your search terms are displayed in bold text so that you can quickly determine if that result is from a page or document you want to visit.




The search engine finds plurals and other forms of the query term entered. For example, searching for "park" yields "parks" or "parking." The search engine does not support "wildcard" or truncation searches.


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Refining Your Search


Since the search engine returns only documents that contain all of the words in your query, refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered. The refined query returns a subset of the pages that were returned by your original broad query. If that does not get the results that you want, you can try to exclude words or search for exact phrases. It is also important to note that changing the order of your search terms can deliver different results.


Exclusion Words


You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to exclude. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign. For example, to search for Afghanistan excluding the cities of Kabul and Kandahar from the search results, type the following query:



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Phrase Searches


Surround your phrase with quotes to find an exact match e.g. "armored tank". Words enclosed in double quotes appear together in all returned documents. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for specific names or words.

You can search for an exact phrase or name in the following ways:

  • By enclosing the phrase in quotation marks. The search engine only returns documents that include the exact phrase you entered.
  • By using phrase connectors such as hyphens or periods in between every word of your search query.
  • Phrase connectors and quotation marks join your search words as a single unit.
    For example, the search engine treats the following queries as a phrase search even though the search words are not enclosed in quotation marks.


  also treated as a phrase   


Fielded searches - using the "inmeta" Search Operator


You can search only for documents that include specified search data or search tags, enter the following:


  • The inmeta: search operator
  • The name of the search tag
  • "~"
  • The search term
    For example, to find documents with "virus" in the title, enter:



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Search Tags


To search using search tags type: inmeta:[mnemonic tag name]~[search term]
Example: inmeta:AN~ADA532575


 Search Tag  Mnemonic
 Abstract  AB
 Accession Number  AN
 Author  AU
 Citation Creation Date  CRD
 Descriptors  DE
 Report Date  RD
 Title  TI


Corporate Source Search


The Corporate Source Search allows you to search for a Corporate Source Code, by entering part of a company or agency name, or for an individual Source Code, by entering the 6-digit number. The Source Code is used when searching in these databases for information authored or sponsored by these organizations. Each Corporate Author record displays the root (highest) element of the organization, the parent (next higher) element of the organization, any sub-organizations or former names, and the organization's Source Code.


Enter part of a Company or Agency name:



Or enter a Source Code on which to search:



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Thesaurus Search


The Thesaurus provides a broad multidisciplinary subject term vocabulary that aids in information search and retrieval. Subject terms, called Descriptors, are organized into hierarchies, where series of narrower terms are linked to broader terms.


Enter a descriptor:



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