How to find what you're looking for on CYC-Net

Just type whatever you're looking for in the search box, click the Search button, and the entire CYC-Net web (consisting of many tens of thousands of pages) will be searched for pages that are relevant to your query. Most of the time you'll find what you were looking for with just a basic query.

Some examples:

Here are some tips which can help you refine your technique to make the most of your searches.
Throughout, we'll use square brackets [ ] to signal queries, so [unique profession] is one query, while [unique] and [profession] are two.

Some basic facts

Every word matters. Generally, all the words you put into the search block is used. There are some exceptions (see below).

Our Search is not case insensitive. Searching for [jack phelan] is the same as searching for [Jack Phelan].

Punctuation is (mostly) ignored. Don't search for @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters. Nothing will be returned.

Guidelines for better search

Keep it simple. If you're looking for a particular person or writer, just enter their name (first and/or surname), or as much of their name as you can recall. If you're looking for a particular concept eg. corporal punishment, just enter [corporal punishment], or even just [punishment].

A search engine is not a human. Use terms that you think will most likely to occur in the page. For example, instead of only using [CYC], also use [child and youth care], because both are likely to be used. A search engine doesn't understand that those terms mean the same thing in our profession. The query [How many children are in residential care in the UK?] is very clear to a person, but the document that gives the answer will very likely not have those exact words. Instead, use the query [UK care residential] because those terms are the most likely to appear in the document.

Describe what you need with as few terms as possible. Remember, each additional word limits the results. The main advantage to starting with fewer keywords is that, if you don't get what you need, the results will likely give you a good indication of what additional words are needed to refine your results on the next search. For example, [loss] would a simple way to find results on bereavement, grief, transitions, sacrifice, post-traumatic stress etc.

The more unique and specific the term is, the more likely you will find what you are looking for. For example, entering a specific term such as [relational] will give you many options for relational child and youth care.

Advanced searches

Phrase search (" ")
By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling the search facility to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. Our search already uses the order and the fact that the words are together as a very strong signal and will stray from it only for a good reason, so quotes are usually unnecessary. By insisting on phrase search you might be missing good results accidentally. For example, a search for [ "Larry Brendtro" ] (with quotes) will miss the pages that refer to Brendtro.

Terms you want to exclude (-)
Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results.

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