Searching for Data

FAIR Search

FAIR search allows users to search and filter on all datasets they have visibility of.

Search Image.png

By default all available datasets are displayed, and users can search the FAIR catalogue using the free type search box, the filters at the top of the page, or the facets on the left hand side.

Both the filters and facets are configurable, and can be updated by administrative users. Details on how to do this can be found here.

Users can also save and share their searches.

Sharing searches

The copy button on the right of the search box allows users to copy the search URL, which can then be shared with other users.

When a search is shared like this with another user it will only return results that they have permission to view.

Saving searches

To save a search user should use the Save option at the top of the search tab.

Save Image.png

Users can access their saved searches from the My searches option in the Discover menu.

Discover Image.png

FAIR search supports Lucene Query Syntax, which allows users to create advanced searches, the most common of these are detailed below:

Search TypeSpecial Character UsedExample SearchResult
Boolean ANDNAred AND carReturns results which contain both 'red' and 'car'
Boolean NOTNAred NOT carReturns results which contain 'red' but not 'car'
Boolean ORNAred OR carReturns results which contain 'red', 'car' or both. Searches are OR by default, therefore the user doesn't need to enter the OR operator
Exact match""red car"Returns results which contain the exact phrase 'red car'
Single character wildcard?red ca?Returns results which contain both 'red' and any match for the single character wildcard e.g. 'car' 'cat' 'cap' etc
Multi character wildcard*red ca*Returns results which contain both 'red' and any match for the multi character wildcard e.g 'car' 'camp' 'carrot'
Fuzzy search~red car~Returns results which contain both 'red' and fuzzy matches for 'car' e.g. 'bar' 'far' 'can' 'cat'

More examples and further detail on lucene search syntax can be found here.

Use of special characters

As described above, lucene syntax uses a variety of special characters to support advanced searches, these include the following:

+ - & | ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \ /

If a user wants to include these in a search as a regular character they need to be escaped using a single \.

For example if a user was searching for a date in the format 15/9/2017, they would need to escape the / with \, submitting a query in the following format:


Special characters will also be ignored if they are part of an exact match search using the ", eg:


This search will return any results which contain the exact phrase '15/9/17'

Updated on April 2, 2024

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