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7. Searching the full text of laws world-wide - DIAL Search

The DIAL Search component of Project DIAL uses the SINO search engine to search over all of the world-wide legislation which is able to be indexed by the targeted web spider. From the DIAL Search interface shown below, searches may be entered using boolean and proximity operators and truncation.

The DIAL Search interface, with `Boolean (Ranked Results)' selected

Two types of search/display options are provided:

* Advanced Search - This is the most powerful form of searching, where searches can be made using boolean and proximity connectors, and the results are then also ranked in likely order of relevance. This allows reasonably broad searches (to aid completeness) with the relevance ranking then providing more precision. This display option is illustrated below. (This is AustLII's Boolean (Ranked Results) search method.)

* Simple Search - Users can enter text in any form (eg `I want laws on tax and bankruptcy' or `tax taxation bankrupt bankruptcy') without knowing about search connectors, truncation etc. Results are ranked according to likely relevance. The user will obtain a useful list of search results, although often not as complete as a boolean search can provide. This is the search method recommended for inexperienced users, and is the default option. (This is AustLII's Freeform (Ranked Results) search method.)

At a later stage of development, when we are able to provide useful database and library headings within DIAL Search, more display options will be provided which allow search results to be displayed grouped by database of origin rather than by relevance ranking (as is currently available on AustLII).

Display of results

Results are displayed as shown below. In this example, legislation is found from Mongolia, Zambia (the Value Added Tax Act and Preferential Claims in Bankruptcy Act items), and Vietnam (the `Enterprise', `Social Matters' and `Taxation and Fee' legislation tables of contents, and those items beginning `http://coombs'), and the items ranked in likely order of relevance

Further work on the display of results may result in the name of the database from which each entry comes being displayed with it, so it is easier to recognise which counties particular legislative items are from.

Storing DIAL Searches in the DIAL Index - A self- maintaining index

Searches over DIAL Search such as the one above are included as `stored search links' in the DIAL Index. In the Telecommunications subject page example above, the link `Search full text of legislation for telecommunications - (DIAL Search)' is a stored search for `telecommunications' with a relevance ranked display. On the Intellectual Property subject page there is a stored search for `intellectual property or unfair competition or copyright or patent or trade mark or trade secret. These are relatively simple searches, but much more complex searches using the full range of search connectors can be stored.

The significance of these `stored searches' of DIAL Search in the DIAL Index is twofold:

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