Put a finer point on your ACM Digital Library searches with custom search queries


Custom search queries in the ACM Digital Library's advanced search interface allow you to perform even more granular searches, and export a search’s query syntax, run date, and result count data to a CSV. To customize your search queries, perform any search in the DL, then click the “Edit Search” button above the results to navigate back to advanced search. At the bottom of the advanced search page, you will see the label “View Query Syntax.” Clicking this label will display the “Full Query Syntax” textbox, which displays the raw query string for your search, and the “Edit Query” textbox, which is where you can edit the search’s query string.

There are many powerful ways the “Edit Query” field can extend the flexibility of advanced search. A particularly useful example is combining “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT” operators between terms in the “Search Within” field as well as nesting parenthesis to logically group expressions together. Since “Search Within” assumes an “AND” relationship between terms, locating articles with one term in their abstract or another term in their full text would be impossible with the interface alone. Using the “Edit Query” tool, however, you simply change the default “AND” operator between these terms to “OR” or “NOT” to search for the desired results.

Finally, clicking the “Export Syntax” button to the right of the “Full Query Syntax” text box allows you to download the syntax of your search, the current date and time, and the total number of search results as a CSV.