FSIMS provides five different ways to search for documents. Each of the search strategies is discussed in detail below, including step-by-step instructions to guide you through the use of each method. The six searches available are:
A Quick Search finds all active documents that contain the word or phrase entered in the text entry field. Quick Search is available on all FSIMS pages.
Quick Search is fast and easy to use. Simply enter a search word or phrase in the Quick Search text entry field and then click the Go button. You do not need any special characters (quotation marks, etc.) when entering a phrase. A list of all active documents matching your entry is displayed in the FSIMS viewer. Note that the Quick Search result is not limited by your User Preferences.
The Quick Search text entry field accepts the wildcard characters " ? " and " * ". Click below to see examples of the use of wildcard characters.
Advanced Search gives you the capability to refine a search in several important ways. Refining your search will limit the number of documents returned by your query. Some of the refinements you can make include:
Either/or refinements are made by simply clicking radio buttons or choosing from drop down pick menus.
An Advanced Search retrieves documents based on the contents of all the text entry fields, associated Boolean operators, selections in the Areas of Interest and Publication Type sections and User Preferences.
Wildcards can be used in any of the Advanced Search text entry fields.
RGL & FSIMS Search gives you the capability to search across two databases simultaneously. This search will return results found in FSIMS as well as the Regulatory and Guidance Library. Because of the large amount of records contained within both these resources, a maximum of 500 will be returned. The results will be sorted by relevance, a calculated number, based in part on the number of occurrences and positions of the search term and how closely the search term matches.
RGL & FSIMS Search gives you the capability to limit your search to specific Publication Types. Refining your search will limit the number of documents returned by your query. Some of the Publication Types you can select include:
This option finds words with the base word plus certain suffixes. For example, a search for "fly" will also find "flying" and “flyer." It will not find the variation "flown," or “flight” however, because the base word has changed, or "flyed" because the suffix is not acceptable with that word.
Example of a Word Variant Search
If you want documents with both test and tests, just enter test and check that box. This will also find other variants like testing and tester.
A Fuzzy Search is a type of search that looks for approximate matches to the word you entered. This allows you to search for words when you are uncertain of the correct spelling. The fuzzy search uses variations on a method commonly called "soundex", which looks for words that sound approximately like the word you entered. One example is searching for "rotocraft" will return documents containing "rotorcraft".
Example of a Fuzzy Search
If you do a search for the word “dice” with the Fuzzy Search option not selected, you will not get any results. If you do the same search with the Fuzzy Search option selected, you will get a number of results because the search is assuming a misspelling and will return all documents that contain either the word “deice” or “ice”.
An Area of Interest search lets you search the E-Book according to its structure. The Areas of Interest navigation link is found in the left-hand panel of all FSIMS pages. Once you click that link, the various Areas of Interest will display underneath it. Click on any of the Areas of Interest and FSIMS displays a page showing an expanded view of that subject area along with its related Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts.
The Areas of Interest available are:
The Library by Subject search capability allows you to search the E-Book by subject area rather than using key words or phrases. The list of subjects is found at the top of the FSIMS Home page. The subjects available are:
Click on any of the subjects and FSIMS displays a list of all relevant E-Book documents sorted by Area of Interest, volume, chapter, and section. A drop-down filter is available that will restrict the result to a particular CFR Part.
The Index search provides an alphabetical listing of the contents of the E-Book. The first page of the listing shows all of the entries that begin with the letter 'A'. Other pages of the listing can be displayed by selecting the appropriate letter from the alphabet displayed above the list. Simply click a title to view a document on the list.
Wildcard Characters can be used in both FSIMS Quick Searches and Advanced Searches. FSIMS uses two wildcard characters. They are:
The '*' character is particularly useful when used at the end of a word. It serves as a root expander and allows you to retrieve all variations on the root term.
Examples of Wildcard Use
The search word 'De-ice?' returns any document containing De-ice followed by any other single character such as, De-iced, De-icer, etc.
The search word 'De-ic* returns any document containing De-ic followed by other character or characters such as, De-ice, De-icing De-iced, etc. When used at the end of a search word, the '*' provides a more inclusive search.
You can search for a particular e-book volume, chapter and/or section by entering that information into the quick search or advanced search text box. To find a specific document, use the word(s) volume, chapter, and/or section in the search. Vol cannot be used for volume; ch or chap cannot be used for chapter; sec or sect cannot be used for section. Enter the words in the order specified, and do not separate the references by a comma. Examples of data entered into a search text field and the search results:
FSIMS Advanced Search provides an easy to use Boolean search capability. The available Boolean operators are:
The And operator returns documents containing the original search word or phrase and the word or phrase contained in the And text entry field. For example, a search of 'Deicing' in the main text entry field and 'equipment' in an And Boolean text entry field returns all documents containing both words.
The Or operator returns all documents containing:
For example, a search with 'deicing' in the main text entry field and 'equipment' in the text entry field next to an Or operator returns all documents containing either deicing or equipment or both.
The Not operator returns all documents that match the other search words or phrases in your query but do not contain the word or phrase in the Not text entry field.
For example, a search with 'delay' in the main text entry field and 'weather' in the text entry field next to a Not operator returns all documents containing delay but not weather.