Q: How to search for key terms and phrases

Searching in DISCO falls within Three Categories:

  • terms & connectors
  • field searching
  • “catch-all” category (includes proximity, fuzzy, & truncation searches).

Searches that do not specify a document field will search from a combination of the document text, DISCO ID, Bates numbers, document notes, custodian, subject, to, from, and cc.

The precedence of search connectors works like a math equation. Remember learning the order of operations in grade school math? Multiplication and division in an equation were computed before addition and subtraction. A similar order of precedence holds true for DISCO search connectors.

  1. Proximity: /
  2. AND and NOT: & %
  3. OR: [space]

DISCO’s search engine goes down the precedence list one by one, evaluating all of the terms using the connectors at that level, and then moving on to terms using connectors at the next level. A term is the single word or phrase (in quotes) on either side of the connector. A connector is one of our search operators that requires terms to be on both sides of the connector, i.e. proximity, AND, NOT, and OR. At level 2, AND and NOT are evaluated in order from left to right, since they both have the same level of precedence. Here are a few examples:

  • Contract = documents with the word contract
  • Signed Contract = documents with the exact phrase "signed contract"
  • Signed Contract = documents with either the word signed or the word contract
  • Signed & Contract = documents that have both the words signed and contract
  • Signed % Contract = documents that  have the word signed, but not the word contract


Keywords: and or, Boolean connectors

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