ParlInfo Search Tips

Advanced Search/Browse

The Advanced Search/Browse page provides a form for customising your search and for setting specific search and display options. The form contains the following areas:

Advanced search page with the collections collapsed.

Advanced search page with the collections collapsed.

Main Search Box

The main search box at the top and bottom of this screen has similar default search behaviour and similar functionality to the Basic Search main search box in that it acts as a text search across all Parliamentary collections. However, you may choose to use it in conjunction with Search Fields, which has the effect of refining your search. The Clear button clears your search terms and if you have made further selections on the Advanced Search/Browse page by, for example, selecting Parliamentary collections and subcollections, or entering terms in the Search Fields, then Clear will also clear these.

Search Collections

Your search may be limited to:


To browse subcollections, click on the magnifying glass icon next to a subcollection. Do not tick the checkbox if you wish to browse as ticking the checkbox performs a search.

Note: Only one sub-collection can be browsed at a time.

Search Fields

Three sets of select boxes let you search for your search terms in specific document record fields.

Note: Collection or sub-collections must be selected prior to using search fields as the selection determines which fields may be searched.

The first select box in each set allows you to enter search terms.

Note: Search operators used in the Basic and Advanced Search main search box should not to be used in Search Fields.

The second select box in each set offers a list of available search fields that are common across all your selected collections/subcollections, e.g. Content (i.e. content of the document), Title, Source, Author, Speaker, ...,

The list of available fields in the drop-down box is dependent on the collections and sub-collections that have been selected. The fields that are common to all collections and subcollections are Cotent, Parl number, Source and Title.

If only one sub-collection is selected, then the fields relevant only to that sub-collection are displayed.

The third select box in each set offers a list of search term combinations that relate to the text you have entered in the first box. These are: all of these words, any of these words, the exact phrase which is the default, and without these words.


  • Select House of Representatives Hansard subcollection.
  • Enter
    in the first select box of the first set.
  • Select 'questioner' from the drop down list next to the second select box of the first set.
  • Do not change the default of 'the exact phrase' in the third select box of the first set.
  • Enter
    in the first select box of the second set.
  • Select 'responder' from the drop down list next to the second select box.
  • Do not change the default of 'the exact phrase' in the third select box of the first set.

The default behaviour when multiple search fields are searched, is an AND with the search results returning document records which contain all the selected search fields in each document record.

Using the above example, ParlInfo Search will search for Hansard document records in which Kevin Rudd, MP was a questioner and John Howard was a responder.

Thesaurus - for subject search

This is a link to the Parliamentary Thesaurus Browser which is accessible only to internal users. It is available for searching subjects (topics, organisations and people as subjects) within document records. The terms in the Thesaurus Browser are used as subjects in document records in the following collections and subcollections only:

Therefore, MajorSubject_Phrase, MajorSubject_Expand, Subject_Phrase and Subject_Expand do not appear in the drop-down lists of available search fields if other collections and/or sub-collections are selected. Thesaurus terms may be inserted by keying the term directly into the 'Search for' box in the Search Fields; or they may be automatically inserted by:

Select one of the four Major Subject or Subject field options from the drop downn menu.

Note: When using one of these options, ensure that the selection in the 'using' drop-down list is 'the exact phrase'


  • Select Media collection
  • Select
    immigration controls
    from the Thesaurus
  • Paste into the first Search Fields search term box
  • Select MajorSubject_Phrase from the 'in' drop down list,
  • Use 'the exact phrase' Click Search

ParlInfo Search will generate a set of results which are Media items containing the Major Subject term 'immigration controls'

Date Options

There are two ways to search by date:

Absolute Dates Fill in one or both of the 'From' and 'To' date fields. Dates must be in the format DD/MM/YYYY. (You can use the calendar tool for each input field).

Note: By entering a date in the 'From' field and not entering a date in the 'To' field, everything from the From date to the current date is searched. By entering a date in the 'To' field and not entering a date in the 'From' field, everything prior to the 'To' date is searched.

Predefined Dates Select from the drop down list to restrict your search to a particular event/date period.

Note: Date Options are the preferred way to perform Date range searches.

Note: The Search Results secreen offers navigation by Date as a Browse by category.

Results Options

On the Advanced Search/Browse page, there are two ways you can control the listing of search results:

Results per Page Limits the number of document records that are summarised and viewed per page.

Order by Arranges the order in which search result items will be sorted. The default ordering is by Relevance (default), which is an algorithmic attempt to list the most relevant/significant document records first. However, the order may be changed by selecting one of the other options in the drop-down list.

Note: the search results of a Browse search are typically ordered by special 'Custom Browse Order'. However, you may re-arrange them by selection from the 'Order by' drop-down list.

For Current Session - Search History and Previously Viewed Documents

If you have conducted searches and viewed documents during your current session, these will be displayed in the pane at the bottom of the screen as Search History and Previously Viewed Documents. A search may be repeated by clicking on the appropriate search query.

Similarly a document may be re-opened by clicking on a previously viewed document. Another option for viewing your search history is to use the Search History tab.

Note: Previously viewed documents expire after 2 hours of idle time on the system. Both lists of previously conducted searches and previously viewed documents are not retained between sessions, that is, when you leave ParlInfo Search and when you access it again. If you wish to save your search query, re-run it and click Save on the Search Results screen. Similarly if you wish to save a document, open it and add it to your list from the Search Results screen. You may also save a document from the Document View screen.

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