Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Super Search. (It's like normal searching, but with a cape.)

There is a new checkbox next to the search button that says "Super Search". This is a powerful search option that we are making available for name searching on Court and Tax Warrant searches.

Before we get into how Super Search works, a word of assurance for the folks who don't want to learn something new today: You don't have to use Super Search. When the box isn't checked, our search will behave the way it always has in the past. As a logged-in user, simply check or uncheck the box to switch between Super Search and traditional search.*

Here's what Super Search will do for you:

Have you ever had trouble locating records with an unusual party name? 
For example:
  • "The unknown heirs of Jimmy Hoffa, assumed deceased"
  • "Dr. Charles Baker-Fielding the Third, Esquire"
  • "DBA John Smith"
Super Search makes it easy to find these records with three new features:

  • Names occurring anywhere in the party field are easily found. Just enter a list of names or words, and we'll search for party names that include all of the names or words you've typed in any position. No need to enter last name first, or put in a comma.
  • Nicknames are checked also. Because this search is primarily based on names, we have enhanced it to include variations on names. For instance, searching for Betty, Liza, or Beth will also return cases involving Elizabeth. If you don't want to check for nicknames, just put the name in "quotes" to look for an exact match.
  • You can search for words too. Looking for an a probate court case? You can include words like heirs, decedent, or estate and if those words appear in the party information, we'll use it to narrow down your search.
Note: Because wildcards don't play well with these nickname groups, we don't allow wildcards in the Super Search. But don't worry, you can uncheck the Super Search box and then wildcards will work using the traditional search.

Here are a few examples of how this works:
To find The unknown heirs of Jimmy Hoffa, assumed deceased, you could type James Hoffa, click on the "Super Search" check box, and hit the search button. Doxpop will then look for cases where both James and Hoffa occur anywhere within the party name field, and as an added bonus, we'll also look for JimJimmyJamie and any other common nickname or variant spelling for James. You can see exactly which similar words are included in your search by expanding the arrow in the search criteria area at the top of your search results.

Example of the search result details for "james hoffa"

If you want to narrow the search down because you're looking specifically for the deceased Jimmy Hoffa, you can also include the word deceased

The order doesn't matter, so you could start with a wide search and then keep appending names or words in any order to narrow down results. For instance,  you might search for hoffa and get too many results. Narrowing to hoffa james will reduce the number of results, but if that's still too much, you could go with hoffa james deceased to focus very narrowly. 

To find Dr. Charles Baker-Fielding the Third, Esquire, you can turn on Super Search and use any of the following word combinations in the search box:
  • charles baker fielding
  • charlie baker the third
  • chuck  fielding esquire
There are hundreds of different name/word combinations you could use to find this person, but the basic concept is to include all of the words or names you think will be in the party name in any order. The more words/names you add, the more it will narrow the result.

To find DBA john smith, you could just search for john smith. It no longer matters if there are extra words in in front of the name you are searching for, or if the official record is in First Name Last Name format instead of Last Name, First Name. Of course, there are quite a few john smiths out there, so it's now easy to just tack DBA onto your search to narrow the focus.

*This post was edited to clarify that users must be logged in to uncheck the super search option and turn it off. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to uncheck the super search and it won't let me. Is there a problem with that feature today? When I mouse over it there is a red circle with a line through it. How do I uncheck super search?

JuliePH said...

Sorry, it wasn't clear in the post that you have to be signed in to be able to uncheck the super search option.

I apologize, and will update the post to make that more apparent!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I figured that out after logging in. It would be nice to have the option without being logged in.