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EarthRef Digital Archive Help Library

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Searching the EarthRef Digital Archive

3.1  Search Types

3.1.1  Searching by Keyword

Searching the EarthRef Digital Archive by keyword allows you to find contributions related to the Keyword you specify.

Each contribution to the EarthRef Digital Archive contains a list of keywords that the are associated with it. These are specified by the contributor at the time the contribution is inserted into the EarthRef database. In addition, the search will query other fields that may contain your term, including contribution titles, descriptions, etc. You may specify one or more keywords to use in your search by typing them in the Keyword field, using spaces or colons between words.

3.1.2  Searching by Location

Searching the EarthRef Digital Archive by location allows you to find contributions associated with a particular locality.

You may use some or all of the fields included in the Location Search form. Contributions that correspond to the location you specify will be included in the search results.

Latitude and Longitude are set by default to include the maximum possible range of values. To specify a more specific region, modify the values in the search form. The contributions that have latitude-longitude ranges that fall within your specified range will be included in the search results.

Search by Location Name if you would like to find contributions that relate to a particular continent, country, or region. Continent may include values such as such as Europe, Australia, or Asia. For more specific searches, you may indicate a particular Country, such as Japan, Marshall Islands, or USA. Region may indicate such things as a body of water or underwater formation, and may include values such as Atlantic, Japanese Seamount Trail, or Pigafetta Basin.

For the Location Name field, you may indicate multiple search values by separating your search terms with spaces or colons. This will narrow your search to include more specific values.

3.1.3  Searching by Timescale

The Time Scale Search allows you to specify a specific Age range in Ma and/or the name of a geological timescale for your search.

The Age [Ma] fields are pre-filled with the maximum possible values for contribution ages, from 0 Ma to 4550 Ma. This includes every possible date range. Modify the search values to search for a more specific age range.

The Time Scale field allows you to indicate one or more terms indicating a geological timescale name(s). Multiple search terms narrow your search, and should be separated by spaces or colons. Examples of Time Scale search values are Cenozoic, Serravallian, Tertiary, and Late Cretaceous.

3.1.4  Advanced Search

The EarthRef Digital Archive Advanced Search form allows you to combine various search terms and fields to generate the most specific results. It also allows you to modify your search by using the boolean keywords OR, AND or AND NOT between search terms. Separating your search terms with spaces or colons is the equivalent of using the OR keyword.

The search form gives two fields into which you may type your search terms, and each field is related to a pulldown list. The pulldown list allows you to indicate in which field you would like to use your search terms, including Keyword, Parameter, Material, Latitude Range, Longitude Range, Continent, Country, Region, Age Range (in Ma), and Time Scale. Each of the allowed ranges may be specified by using spaces between the terms, e.g., 0 4550 to specify the Age Range 0 to 4550 Ma.

You may use one, both, or neither search term fields, depending upon the type of search you wish to perform. If you use both fields, you must select a boolean modifier AND, OR, or AND NOT from the list that appears between the fields. This will affect how the search query is built, and will affect the number of results that appear in your search. AND means that the terms in both fields must appear in the search results, while OR indicates that one or the other (or both) may appear. AND NOT means that the first terms must be in the results, but the second terms must not be. If both search term fields are left blank, the Project Name and/or Expert Level fields must be used in your search.

The Data Type list allows you to search for ERDA contributions that have files of a certain type associated with them. Indicating a certain data type in your search will result in only those contributions containing the selected data type.

Expert Level indicates to which audience a particular contribution is directed. They range from Preschool and Elementary School to State-of-the-Art Science. You may choose to search for contributions only within a specified level by selecting "This Level Only", or to broaden your search results by selecting "This Level and Lower" or "This Level and Higher". By selecting one of the two latter options, your search will include contributions in the level specified in the Expert Level list, plus any level that appears above it or below it, as specified in the Lower or Higher modifier.

The Project Name list allows you to specify that you are searching for contributions that relate to a specific EarthRef Project. Contributions are grouped into projects to allow users to locate them more easily. You may specify a general project name, such as "Earth Science Software", or a more specific name, such as " Data Population Tools".

3.2  Search Results

3.2.1  File List

If multiple search results are found, they will appear on the File List page. Each contribution meeting your search criteria will appear with a checkbox adjacent to its title. Beneath the title is a list of data types that indicate what type of file(s) are associated with that contribution, plus the contribution's description, if it has one.

You may click on the title of any search result to view the Detailed File Information for that contribution, or view multiple contributions by checking the appropriate checkboxes and then clicking the Continue button. This will allow you to view all of the Detailed File Information for the contributions on a single page.

Twenty search results are displayed at a time on a File List page. If more than 20 results are returned by your search, you will see navigation links at the bottom of the page that allow you to skip to other File List pages, which are also grouped into 20 results. You may also use the Previous and Next links to easily browse adjacent File List pages.

3.2.2  Detailed File Information

A summary of the information provided by the contributor appears on the Detailed File Information page. The fields should provide you with enough information to help you decide whether the file associated with the contribution meets your needs.

On the left side of this page is essential information related to the file, including File Name, Data Type, Computer Program, Number of Files, File Size, Contributor, and Reference. You may click on the Contributor's name to see detailed information about that person. If a Reference is provided, you may also click on the link provided for information about the reference associated with this file.

If you wish to download the file, click the DOWNLOAD button that appears in the upper left corner of the summary. This will normally result in a dialog box appearing, asking if you would like to open or save the file. This will depend on your operating system. Please see the Downloading Files help file for further information.

If a VIEW button appears, it indicates that the file is an image. You may view the image by clicking on the VIEW button, or use the DOWNLOAD button in the usual fashion.

If you are the original contributor of the file, you will see an EDIT button in the upper left corner. By clicking this button, you will go directly to the Contribution Wizard, where you will be able to update the contribution.

You may view information pertinent to the file and contribution by clicking on the various buttons provided in the middle left-hand section, including Geological Age, Keywords, Projects, Location Info, Instructions and Copyrights. Clicking on one of these buttons will cause the appropriate information to appear at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the button a second time will cause the section to disappear again.

Also provided in the third left-hand section are Show All and Export URLs buttons. Clicking on the Show All button allows you to easily display all pertinent data at the bottom of the page, just as if you had clicked the individual buttons in the section above. After clicking on this button, the button will change to the Hide Details button, which allows you to easily close all of the details sections with one click. The Export URLs button causes a section to display that summarizes all of the URLs associated with the contribution, including User Defined Web Site; Project Web Site; Persistent Link Current Web Page, a quick link to the current page; and Direct Download Link, which may allow you to see the file directly in your browser, depending on the file type and your browser's capabilities.

Each section, when displayed, will contain an X button on the upper right side. You may click this button to collapse that individual section.

NEW SEARCH buttons may be provided in the Geological Age Range and Timescale, and Location sections. Clicking on these buttons will allow you to perform another search with just the values provided in these fields.

If you selected multiple contributions using the checkboxes in the File List form, you will see the corresponding Detailed File Information summaries in a vertically-aligned table. You may use the various buttons to download or view information on the individual contributions, or use the checkboxes next to the titles to filter out contributions. Select the checkboxes you would like to keep and click the Continue button.

3.2.3  Downloading Files

You may download a file associated with an EarthRef Digital Archive contribution by clicking on the DOWNLOAD button on the contribution's Detailed File Information page.

In most cases, clicking the DOWNLOAD button will cause a File Download dialog to appear, which will give you the option to Open or Save the file. When you opt to Open the file, you may be asked by your operating system to specify which program to use when opening the file. If you have already associated a program with the file type, the program should automatically open and you should be able to view the file.

If you choose to Save the file, you may need to specify the location on your local computer where the file will be saved. You may then open the file with the appropriate program or software.

3.2.3  Contribution Notes

General notes may be added by the contributor of an EarthRef Digital Archive file to explain any number of things, including clarification of points made in the instructions, expressions of gratitude or acknowledgement, or suggestions on how to use the file.

3.2.4  Contribution Keywords

By clicking on the Keywords button on an EarthRef Digital Archive contribution's Detailed File Information page, you will see a list of keywords that the contributor has associated with it. This may be helpful in future searches, or to determine whether the contribution or file will meet your needs.

3.2.5  Contribution Copyright Info

In many cases, a file contributed to the EarthRef Digital Archive is protected by copyright laws. The contributor may provide copyright information to allow users to view the specifics of the copyright.

3.2.6  Contribution Instructions

Many files added to the EarthRef Digital Archive require further instructions before a user may be able to fully understand or utilize them. The contributor may add explanatory text that can be helpful in understanding the usage of the downloaded file.