Canadian Copyright Database Help: Searching Tips

Search query

On the search screen there is a series of three search text boxes. After the words "Enter search text" add the name or number that you want to search. Then select one of the eight "fields" from the drop down menu. These are: assignor name, author name, category, country of publication, owner/assignee name, registration number, title, year of publication. Each of these fields corresponds to searchable information.

Boolean search

You may use up to three search query boxes using Boolean operators (and, or, but not). These operators can be used to combine several search criteria in order to further refine a search and obtain more specific or relevant results. The operator "and" ensures that both search criteria are present in the resulting documents. The operator "or" ensures that at least one of the search criteria is present in the resulting documents and the operator "but not" is used to exclude words or phrases from a query.

For example, you could look for "A Purple" in the Author field or "A Purple" in the Owner field. Another example would be to look for "A Purple" in the Author field and "D Black" in the Author field but not "Canada" in the Country of Publication field.

Capital/small letters, special characters and accents

The search engine is case sensitive only if both upper and lower case letters are used at the same time. For example, if you enter "house" the search will find all titles with "House", "house" or "HOUSE" If you enter "House" the search will find only those titles containing "House".

The search engine is accent sensitive. If you enter "été" the search will find titles with "été". If you look for "ete" the search will only find titles with "ete".

The search engine is programmed to ignore punctuation and special characters, except for &, @, $, %, ^, <, +, #, |, ~, !, /, =, >, [, ], _, }, ©, ®, ¢, £, ¤ and ¥. Punctuation is replaced by a space. For example, a search for the words "on-line" would find the words "on line", "on-line" and "On Line". Also a search for the word "R.I.P." would find the words "R.I.P.", "R I P" and "Q.R.I.P.L.E".

Wild cards

Your query can also include wild cards (an asterisk (*) for a string of letters or numbers or a question mark (?) for a single letter or number) for more flexibility. Wildcards are useful for searching truncation and word stems (e.g. pharm* to retrieve pharmacy, Pharmaceuticals, etc.) or variant spellings (e.g. organi?ation to retrieve organization or organisation).

Number of documents returned

You can modify the number of hits or results provided by the search. The results are ranked based on the hit count which is the number of times individual query words appear in the selected field(s). A hit count equal to the maximum number selected means other relevant documents may not have been picked up. To obtain all relevant documents, you should increase the maximum number or be more specific in your search criteria.

Number of documents per page

By default, the maximum number of results per list is ten documents. This option lets you define the maximum number of documents displayed per list. The results are ranked based on the hit count. Hit count refers to the number of times individual query words or search criteria appear in the selected field(s).

Execute search

You can now hit the Search button or Clear the search criteria to the default settings and enter new search information.

Search results

The results are displayed in the current window. You may PRINT using your browser. Single-click on one of the result lines to view the details page for that copyright (application number, registration number, date registered, owner name and address, etc.).