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Defence Research and Development Canada

Help for using CANadian Defence Information Database


Context-sensitive help is available from most areas. To view the HELP text, click on the HELP icon Help. To return from the HELP text, use the "Back" function of your Browser.


The search form has the following features:

Search Entry Box

Each searchable field has a Search Entry Box. This is the area where you enter your search term(s). You can initiate your search by clicking on the Search button to the right of the entry box.

Browse Option Box

The option to browse selected indexes is available through the search form. The BROWSE box appears under the author field, corporate author field (browse corporate names - ca_name - or corporate acronym - ca_acr), and keyword field (descriptors only).

You may use the BROWSE box in one of two ways:

  1. You may click on BROWSE and move directly to the BROWSE FORM.
  2. You may enter a term in the search entry box then click on BROWSE to perform the operation. Output is displayed on the BROWSE form.

NOTE: the default index for corporate bodies is ca_name (corporate name). In general, it is advisable to move directly to the BROWSE FORM to search for corporate authors.

Search Fields

There are some general rules of entry which apply to all fields.

Title Keywords

Use this field to look for keywords or phrases contained in document titles. This search field contains terms from the title and translated title fields.

All terms are searched in both the singular and plural forms:

Example : tank will yield titles with the terms tank and tanks

however, it is recommended that truncation be used to ensure that all forms of a desired term are retrieved.

It is recommended that you use this search option when you are looking for a known title or concept. Otherwise, use the general keyword field for subject searching.


You can search for documents written by one or more personal authors.Type the last name of the author, followed by a comma, and either one or both initials. Author names are stored in the form: SURNAME, A.B.

Example : Johnson, A.J.

Truncation in the author field may be used to yield varying results.

Example : Peter*

will yield works by Peters, Petersen, Peterson, etc.

Example : Klein, *

will yield works by Klein, L.G. and Klein, J.K.

Corporate Authors

This field contains both full corporate names and acronyms:

Example : Defence Research Establishment Suffield, or DREO

In relation to the document, the corporate name mentioned in the record may be the contracting agency, the contractor, or the corporate affiliation of a personal author.

Boolean operators allow you to put in the exact name of a corporate source, in which case it is recommended that you browse the index to find the variant forms of the name used in the data base.

Alternatively, you may input individual words which make up the corporate name and connect them using the "contains all" or "contains any" options from the droplist box.

Example : space technolog *

will yield documents produced by:

Institute for Space Science and Technology, Gainesville FL (US),

and, documents produced jointly by

CRAD - Director of Research and Development Communications and Space, and Ecole Polytechnique, Centre de Developpement Technologique


This search field contains terms from the title, translated title, abstract, DRDKIM controlled vocabulary descriptor field, the free text identifier field, and conference name which is used when individual conference papers are indicated in the title field.

Truncation is highly recommended, although with terms such as radiometry, radioactivity and radiotelescope, you may wish to be careful where the wildcard character is placed.

This very general field is an excellent start for subject searching. It is recommended that you begin by entering all synonymous search terms and 'or-ing' them to collect the largest number of pertinent titles.


You can restrict your search for specific publications by entering the year in the search entry box. To search for more than one publication year, enter the range of years using the to and from date boxes. If you want to search all years covered in the database leave the box empty.

The format to be used is year, month, day (YYYYMMDD)

Example : 19930101

will retrieve a document published on that exact date

Example : 19930101 TO 19970101

will retrieve all documents published within that time period

Connecting Search Terms

You will see a droplist box to the left of each search entry box. If you are entering more than one term in a search box you will need to decide how the terms are to be combined. The default option will be displayed in the box. You can choose one of the other available options from the droplist box.

contains the phrase:

terms will be searched in the exact order and position in which they are typed into the search entry box. This is the default option when you search for a corporate author or personal author name.

contains all:

if you choose this option, you will be searching for documents which contain all the search terms typed in the search entry box, occurring in any order. This is equivalent to the boolean "and" command. "Contains all" is the default for title keywords and keywords in the basic index which are derived from the title, abstract, indicator and descriptor fields.Enter the terms into the search entry box separated by a space.

Example : snow vehicl *

contains any:

select this option to retrieve documents containing one or more of the terms entered, appearing in any order. This is equivalent to the boolean "or" command and can be used when you want either or all of the search terms to appear in a title or in the basic index. Enter the terms into the search entry box separated by a space.

Example : underwater submarine undersea


Field Connectors

All searchable fields on each search form ( such as title, author, date) are automatically combined with the "and" connector. The system retrieves documents where all of the search terms in each field of the form must be present You will use this default feature for most searches. If you want to change the default connector between fields to "or" or "and not" go to the bottom of the page, click on the field connector box and select an alternate field connector.

Display Options

After you have entered your search terms and are ready to begin a search, you can use the SORT option to choose how you would like the retrieved references displayed.

SORT commands

You can use the SORT feature to select how the retrieved records will be displayed in the summary list of titles.

In order to display the most current references first, select Sort By accession number and descending order.

Once you have chosen the Sort By criterion, you can decide to display references in ascending or descending order by using the Sort Order option. The default is set at descending order, so that references are displayed from the earliest to the most recently published.


The browse screen is designed to assist you in identifying searchable terms or in verifying the correct spelling of a name or descriptor. The droplist box on the left side of the screen allows you to choose the appropriate index. The choices are:

use to search for personal authors' names
use to search for keywords from CANDID's controlled vocabulary list - it does not include keywords from title, abstract or identifier fields
use to search for the full name or any words that may be contained in an organization's title
use to search for a corporate author by its acronym

These lists are machine-compiled from cataloguing input. They include individual words as well as phrases. For example, in ca_name "Atlantic" will locate the single term "Atlantic"followed, in alphabetical order, phrases which begin with "Atlantic". You are simply placed within the index at the appropriate alphabetical location.

Terms in the list are highlighted, allowing you to go directly to the titles which match your search criteria. Using the above example, clicking on the work "Atlantic" in the listing will bring up a summary display of records authored by "North Atlantic Treaty Organization", "Defence Research Establishment Atlantic", etc.

When browsing the descriptor list, it is important to remember that this is not a thesaurus, that is, "related" and "narrower" terms will not be shown. It is recommended that you note the various terms in a subject search then return to the SEARCH FORM to use the Boolean features available there. When doing a subject search, it is also valuable to look at other keywords used to describe the subject of a document, by pulling up a full record description.


Results are displayed on the summary display form. You will see displayed the number of hits, and a chart listing the numbering of a document within the set retrieved, the document title, and date published. You may read a full document description by clicking on any title in the list.

The following is a sample entry from the data base.

CORPORATE AUTHOR: Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
ABSTRACT: (U) The Minolta CS100 chromameter was interfaced to a Macintosh Quadra 800 via a National NB-DIO-24 digital input/output board in order to implement unattended acquisition of digital-to-analog conversion values (DACs) corresponding to colours required for psychophysical experimentation. The program was developed and compiled on a Macintosh Quadra 800 with Think C 5.0.
DESCRIPTORS: (U) Color;Display devices;Electronic display systems;Computers (Macintosh);Calibrating;Color matching;Computer programs;Computer graphics;Digital to analog converters;Chromaticity coordinates;Color matching;Optical measurement
IDENTIFIERS: (U) Colour measurement

Navigation Buttons
SearchFindThe Search button will bring you back to the Search Form
SummarySummaryChoosing a summary button will always bring you back to the first set of documents in your search
TopTopThe Top button will take you back to the beginning of the list of documents
BottomBottomThis button will take you to the end of the summary list of documents.
Up Up Select this button to see the list of documents on the preceding page.
Down Down Select this button to see the next page in a list of documents.
Prior Prior When viewing a reference to an document, use this button to go to the reference that immediately precedes
Next Next When viewing a reference to an article, use this button to go to the reference that immediately follows.
Download Download If the document is available in PDF, this button will be highlighted. Adobe Acrobat Reader should be available for downloading through your browser or from your Windows suite of applications.
Browser Text Size

If the text size is a problem, you can adjust the text magnification.

For Microsoft Internet Explorer:

  1. Select "View" from the top menu bar.
  2. Select "Text Zoom", or "Text Size".
  3. Adjust accordingly.

For Netscape Navigator/Communicator:

  1. Select "View" from the menu bar.
  2. Select either "Increase Font Size"... or "Decrease Font Size"...

With the wide range of font sizes chosen by web "designers", it may be easier to set your browser to display text in the size YOU want rather than that the author decided you should, and adjust your viewing size only once.

For Internet Explorer:

  1. Select "Tools", "Internet Options", and "Accessibility"
  2. Check the box which has "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages", select "OK".

For Netscape Navigator/Communicator:

  1. Select "Edit", "Preferences", "Fonts" and activate "Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts."
  2. You may then select the font and size best suited for you from the drop-down boxes.