Searches can be made using boolean connectors (`and', `or' and `not'), proximity connectors (eg `w/5 for `within 5 words' or `near' for `within 50 words'). Search terms may be truncated with `*' (eg `bankrupt*').
It is important to realise the limitations of these searches. The only information that can be searched from this window is (i) the titles of the categories of the index ('Law Reform', 'Telecommunications' etc); and (ii) the titles of every specific web site listed in the index, and the brief description of it included in the index. It is just a search of titles in a catalogue, nothing more. Searches of the index do not search the title of every piece of legislation found on the web sites listed in the index, nor do they search every word found in that legislation. This can only be done by DIAL Search searches.
Despite these limitations, searches over the index can be valuable. They can find incidental references in the index (including the broader World Law Index, not just the DIAL Index) to subject matter for which there is not yet any special Development Law Subject page. For example, a search for 'crim*' will find a considerable range of criminal law or criminology resources.
See the Guided Tour `Searching the DIAL Index'http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial/tour.html#Heading18] for further details.
The benefits of this are, first, that the DIAL Index resources are being created within an existing and growing international index to legal materials, where a lot of the hard work in identifying and indexing basic sources of materials has been and is being done for other purposes, and, second, that users of the DIAL Index also obtain the benefit of all the other types of legal indexes (eg to case law or to specialised subject collections) that are being created as part of this large cooperative indexing project.
The challenge is to enable DIAL index users to gain a clear sense of when they are within the specific DIAL resources, and when they have moved out into the broader index, and for there to be ease of navigation between one and the other.
See the Guided Tour `Accessing other information about a country'http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial/tour.html#Heading11] for more information.
Most country pages in the World Law Index have such a stored search for variants of the name of that country, providing a convenient way to find diverse legal information about any country.