Phrase search and Boolean keyword queries in the web interface

We are happy to announce two new enhancements for users who use Event Registry through the web interface. If you’re in a rush, here is a summary:

  • The keyword search on the web interface now supports phrase search. Use it by putting the phrase in double quotation marks, i.e. “cyber attack”.
  • Keyword search now additionally supports Boolean OR operator. Use it when you want to find content that mentions any of the two or more specified words/phrases. To use it, specify capital OR between the words.

Phrase search

To date, users could perform keyword searches using multiple keywords when searching for articles that mention all specified keywords, although these keywords did not necessarily have to be next to each other in the text. Frequently you, however, want to find a specific phrase, where the specified words need to appear next to each other. Since we use our own database engine, this feature was not supported until now.

From today we also provide phrase search. It can be used by putting the phrase into double quotations marks, as you would on Google. You can still search for multiple keywords, like before, by specifying multiple words separated by a space. However, by putting two or more words inside double quotation marks, like in the example below, you specify that the words should be adjacent in the text.

Searching for a phrase "Los Angeles"
Searching for the phrase “Los Angeles”

Using Boolean operators to specify multiple keywords

Additionally, we have updated keyword queries with full support for AND, OR and NOT Boolean operators. When you want to find articles and events, you can use these operators in the following way:

  • AND operator is implicit. By specifying multiple keywords you require that all those keywords should appear in the results.
  • OR operator is the new addition. You can specify that you wish to find articles/events mentioning any of the given keywords by putting a capitalised OR between the keywords.
  • NOT operator can be used by simply putting the – (minus) before the keyword. This will make sure the results don’t contain the given keyword/phrase.

To illustrate, see the figure below. The result would be a union of two groups of articles. The first group will contain articles that mention the phrases North Korea and Donald Trump. The second group will contain articles mentioning the phrase cyber attack, but not France.

Combination of Boolean operators


Gregor Leban

CEO and co-founder of Event Registry


Leave A Comment