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Bibliographic queries in Evergreen

Evergreen, in trunk as of March 2010 and for all versions after the 1.6 series, uses an advanced, configurable query parser for bibliographic searches. This new parser is much more flexible and featureful than the old one, which hard coded the syntax for parsing queries.

How about … some fun with examples!


  • Search for records containing "harry potter":
    harry potter
    • Too easy? That were published after January 1, 2000:
      harry potter after(2000)
    • We only care about the actual series:
      harry potter after(2000) author:rowling
    • And that are at our library:
      harry potter after(2000) author:rowling site(ARL-ATH)
    • And, sort those by pub date:
      harry potter after(2000) author:rowling site(ARL-ATH) sort(pubdate)
    • Descending (newest first):
      harry potter after(2000) author:rowling site(ARL-ATH) sort(pubdate)#descending
  • How about some nested boolean action:
    ("harry potter" && (stone || chamber)) && (author:rowling || subject:rowling) item_form(d) subject[Magic in literature]

    (That last part is a facet.)

  • Phrase searches can be left-anchored:
    identifier|bibcn:"^123 ABC"

    or right-anchored:

  • Phrase searches can also consider punctuation literally:
  • Speaking of facets, imagine a locally defined index definition in the keyword class called mat_type that indexes, say, 945$m, which is a local field holding bib-level "material type" strings. Imagine further that this field is marked as a facet field, but not a search field. You could:
    • Browse all of your DVD mat_types sorted by author:
      keyword|mat_type[DVD] sort(author)
    • Find all available audio cassettes in your South West branch:
      #available keyword|mat_type[AudioCassette] site(SW) sort(title)
    • Get the bibs for all of your VHS and BetaMax items published during the 80s in one browse list ordered by their approximate purchase date:
      keyword|mat_type[VHS # BetaMax] between(1980,1989) sort(create_date)


First, we'll start with a pseudo-grammar for the new query parser with some inline notes:

regexp                := valid PCRE
word                  := valid UTF-8 non-whitespace characters
whitespace            := string matching PCRE /\s+/s
boolean_word          := 'yes' | 'no' | 'true' | 'false' | '1' | '0'
modifier_marker       := '#'   ### configurable, default
phrase_boundary       := '"'
phrase_left_anchor    := '^'
phrase_right_anchor   := '$'
1_word_phrase_marker  := '+'
negator               := '-'
search_seperator      := ':' | '='
class_field_seperator := '|'
boolean_and           := '&&'  ### configurable, EG default
boolean_or            := '||'  ### configurable, EG default
subquery_start        := '('   ### configurable, default
subquery_end          := ')'   ### configurable, default

word_list             := word { ',' word }
negated_word          := negator word
required_word         := 1_word_phrase_marker word  ### one-word phrase shortcut
phrase                := phrase_boundary { phrase_left_anchor } word { whitespace word } { phrase_right_anchor } phrase_boundary
term                  := word | negated_word | required_word | phrase { whitespace term }

boolean_operator      := boolean_and | boolean_or

registerd_class       := 'keyword' | 'title' | 'author' | 'subject' | 'series'  ### configurable, default for EG
class_alias           := regexp  ### 'kw', 'ti', 'au', 'su', 'se' and many more, configurable, loaded from IDL class cmsa where field is null
search_class          := registered_class | class_alias
registered_field      := word    ### configurable, loaded from IDL class cmf where search_field is true
field_alias           := regexp  ### configurable, loaded from IDL class cmsa where field is not null
registered_facet      := word    ### configurable, loaded from IDL class cmf where facet_field is true

classed_search        := search_class search_seperator term
search_field_list     := registered_field { class_field_seperator search_field_list }
fielded_search        := search_class class_field_seperator { search_field_list } search_seperator term
field_alias_search    := field_alias search_seperator term
facet_list            := registered_facet { class_field_seperator facet_list }
facet_value_list      := term { ' # ' term }
facet_search          := search_class [ class_field_seperator { facet_list } ] '[' facet_value_list ']'
search                := term | classed_search | fielded_search | field_alias_search | facet_search

registered_modifier   := 'available' | 'staff' | 'descending'  ### and many more, defined in QueryParser implementation driver class_alias
search_modifier       := modifier_marker registered_modifier | registered_modifier '(' boolean_word ')'
registered_filter     := 'site' | 'sort' | 'item_type'  ### and many more, defined in QueryParser implementation driver class_alias
search_filter         := registered_filter '(' word_list ')' | registered_filter ':' word_list

boolean_term          := term boolean_op term

subquery              := subquery_start query subquery_end
query                 := term | boolean_term | search | search_modifier | search_filter | subquery { [boolean_op] query }

Evergreen Configuration of the Query Parser

  • audience – MARC audience codes
  • vr_format – MARC video recording format codes
  • format – '-' separated list of item_type and item_form codes, no commas
  • item_type – MARC item type code
  • item_form – MARC form codes
  • lit_form – MARC literary form codes
  • locations – shelving location IDs
  • site – Org Unit ID or short name
  • lasso – Staff-defined Org Lasso ID or name
  • my_lasso – User-defined Org Lasso ID or name (not yet implemented)
  • depth – Org Unit Type depth value, or Org Unit Type opac label or name string
  • sort – Bibliographic record sort axis, one of: title, author, pubdate, create_date or relevance
  • language – MARC language code
  • preferred_language – MARC language code or Evergreen translation-supported locale
  • preferred_language_weight or preferred_language_multiplier – relevance multiplier for records matching the preferred language
  • statuses – Evergreen status IDs
  • bib_level – MARC Bibliographic Level
  • before – Filter on MARC Date1 where the record value is earlier than or equal to the supplied value
  • after – Filter on MARC Date1 where the record value is later than or equal to the supplied value
  • between – Filter on MARC Date1 where the record value is between the supplied values (two required, start and end)
  • during – Filter on MARC Date1 and Date2 where the supplied value is between Date1 and Date2
  • offset or skip_check – Superpage offsetting, not intended for end users
  • limit or check_limit or superpage_size – Superpage sizing, not intended for end users
  • core_limit – Superpage visibility horizon, not intended for end users
  • superpage – Target superpage to generate, not intended for end users
  • estimation_strategy – How to treat deleted and hidden records in hit estimation, not intended for end users
  • available – Limit to statuses 0 (Available), 7 (Reshelving) and 12 (Reserves)
  • descending – Reverse the sort order (default is ascending)
  • ascending – Sort in ascending order
  • metabib or metarecord – Metarecord search, instead of direct bibliographic record search
  • staff – Staff search, which includes hidden records and non-transcendent records with no items or located URIs
  • Cover density ranking algorithm tuning parameters, as described in the Postgres documentation.
    • CD_logDocumentLength => 1
    • CD_documentLength => 2
    • CD_meanHarmonic => 4
    • CD_uniqueWords => 8
    • CD_logUniqueWords => 16
    • CD_selfPlusOne => 32
  • lucky – Return only the first hit, à la Google's "I'm feeling lucky" button
Registered classes (from the stock config.metabib_class)
  • keyword – Anywhere in the record except the physical description
  • title – Any abbreviated, translated, alternate, uniform or proper title
  • author – Any personal, corporate or conference author
  • subject – Any standard subject field. Also broken down into topic, temporal, geographic and name subjects by field
  • series – Series title
  • identifier – Accession numbers, standard numbers (ISxN, UPC, EAN, etc), local call number strings, etc
Registered search fields (from the stock config.metabib_field)
class name
Registered class and field aliases
alias class field
au author
creator author
name author
kw keyword
se series
su subject
ti title author author
eg.keyword keyword
eg.series series
eg.subject subject
eg.title title author
bib.nameconference author conference
bib.namecorporate author corporate
bib.namepersonal author personal
bib.namepersonalfamily author personal
bib.namepersonalgiven author personal
dc.contributor author
dc.creator author
bib.edition keyword
bib.genre keyword
bib.subjecttitle keyword
dc.identifier keyword
dc.publisher keyword
srw.serverchoice keyword
bib.titleseries series seriestitle
bib.subjectname subject name
bib.subjectoccupation subject complete
bib.subjectplace subject geographic
dc.subject subject
bib.title title abbreviated
bib.titleabbreviated title abbreviated
bib.titlealternative title alternative
bib.titletranslated title translated
bib.titleuniform title uniform
dc.title title
id identifier
dc.identifier identifier
eg.isbn identifier isbn
eg.issn identifier issn
eg.upc identifier upc
eg.callnumber identifier bibcn
Registered facet fields (from the stock config.metabib_field)
class name
documentation/technical/search_grammar.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/10 13:34 by

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