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Data Planet LibGuides Blog

Tips on Using Search in Data Planet

by Data Planet ™ on 2019-11-13T19:31:42-05:00 in About Data Planet | Comments

To help users quickly and efficiently identify datasets relevant to their research topics, Data Planet applies a very powerful search index. This index makes searchable both the metadata that we create to describe the datasets plus the item and variable names that are contained in each of the 12.6+ billion datasets available in Data Planet. A few tips on using search in Data Planet:

  • The search supports Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow you to narrow or broaden your search. Note that capitalization is necessary when adding these operators to your search.
    • AND restricts results to return records containing two or more terms of interest, eg, dogs AND cats returns records that contain both words
    • OR broadens results to return records containing any of the terms of interest, eg, dogs OR cats returns records that contain either term
    • NOT narrows results to records that contain one but not another term, eg, dogs NOT cats returns records that contain dogs but not cats
  • Data Planet also supports phrase searching, which returns results that contain a particular phrase. Simply enclose your phrase in quotation marks. For example, search “per capita income” or "CO2 emissions" to return results that contain these phrases.
  • Another option for searching is to use the type-ahead options that appear as you enter terms in the search box. For example, a search on fuel consumption reveals the options below – select one of these to narrow to an item of interest.


  • Searches can also be narrowed to include results that are categorized in one of 16 broad subject categories. Pick a category of interest using the drop-down list hat you'll find in Advanced Search.


  • Filters for database and source allow you to narrow results sets to particular data programs of interest. For example, a broad search on population returns millions of results. Use the filters in the list below to narrow to, eg, Census Bureau or American Community Survey, etc.


  • If you’re interested in a particular geography, there are several ways to easily identify datasets of interest:
    • Run a search and select the filter option for the particular geographic area type of interest, eg, ZIP Code.
    • Add an AND statement to the search with a known area of interest, eg,  "vehicle registrations" AND Vermont .
    • Enter a specific geography in the Geography search box in Advanced Search.
    • Enter an actual ZIP Code or block group number in the search box.


  • Note that the search results displayed are for “similar results,” which we’ve set as a default because search results sets can be quite large - remember you're searching 12.6+ billion datasets!! To review all results, change the option in the dropdown, as below:


More information on using search in Data Planet is available here .

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