Canberra Bird Notes - new search facility

To: "" <>
Subject: Canberra Bird Notes - new search facility
From: "David McDonald (personal)" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2018 23:44:10 +0000
Some people are unfamiliar with the advanced search capability of Google 9to use in searching CBN), see 

There are other options as well, not listed there, perhaps someone has a complete list to share?

I find particularly useful the wildcard, exclude and define operators.

For info - David

On 2018-03-05 19:20, Julian Robinson wrote:

1)     I was unaware of these early indexes mentioned below by Philip.  In the website archive (  under Index to Selected Volumes) we already have hand-generated indexes of Vols 21 to ~30 (1996-~2005), so combining that with the ones you mention below would be useful.  Their limitation is that you must separately examine each 4-year period index, but they may still be useful for tricky subjects.  If Philip or anyone can provide a copy of the older indexes I can add them to the website archive.


2)     Philip's point in green below is the biggest limitation of the google search approach. It only returns one result per entire issue.  If you search on a term that appears 20 times in one edition, it only gives you a single return with the context for the first or the 'most relevant' appearance and ignores the rest.  In Philip's example, if you search on [debus] you'll find 17 returns covering 17 issues but no idea which issue includes the desired book review. We can improve the situation by being more specific in choosing our search terms.  In this case you could instead search on  [debus "book review"] (leaving out the square brackets) but this doesn't help as much as you think because many editions of CBN have a book review somewhere.  It does mean that it is likely to pick and provide the context notes for the occurrence where 'debus' occurs close to 'book review'.  Thus the correct issue can be picked by reading the returned context notes. Searching on ["book review" debus veerman] is even better and very easy to pick from the context notes.  If you knew the title of the book you hit the jackpot with only a single return from ["Australasian Eagles and Eagle - like Birds" debus]  


3)     I don't know how far back digital copies of CBN go. Perhaps someone knows which issues were scanned?




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