General information

 

The United Nations Official Document System (ODS) is a system for storing and retrieving United Nations documents that allows users to search for and retrieve documents via high-speed networks and the Internet, and permits high-speed transmission of documents through telecommunications links. The system provides a more economical and secure means of distributing and storing parliamentary documents worldwide and permits timely access to such documents in electronic form by United Nations offices, Permanent Missions to the United Nations and other government offices as appropriate, other organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, the mass media, and other interested institutions, such as libraries and universities, as well as the general public.

 

The parliamentary documentation and official records stored and available online on United Nations networks and on the Internet are described and indexed using the structure of the United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBIS). They include pre-session, in-session and post-session documentation for meetings of the General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies, the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies, the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies and the Trusteeship Council, and for global conferences convened by the United Nations as well as for other meetings included in the Calendar of Conferences and Meetings authorized by the General Assembly. The documents and official records are stored in the official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Selected documents are available in German.

 

Documents are stored in text format and/or in portable document format (PDF). Input of documents is either local or via communication links.

 

The ODS comprises the full text of United Nations parliamentary documents (including resolutions and decisions) issued at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations Office in Geneva since 1993 as well as at the United Nations Office in Vienna since 1997.  The number of duty stations covered by the ODS is expanding as the regional commissions have started to load documents.  In addition to parliamentary documentation, United Nations administrative issuances (ST/AI/-, ST/IC/- and ST/SGB/-), considered valid at time of input, are included in the database.

 

General Assembly resolution 52/214 of 22 Dec. 1997 requested “the Secretary-General to complete the task of uploading all important older United Nations documents on the United Nations Web site in all six official languages on a priority basis”.  The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is in the process of digitizing parliamentary documents published before 1993.  Please contact the Dag Hammarskjöld Library  for further information.

Access to the system

Hardware and software requirements

Internet users are able to access the ODS using a standard personal computer as a workstation and a UNICODE-compliant Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. Documents are stored in portable document format (PDF). In order to view, print and download documents, users must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on their personal computer or server. The Acrobat Reader can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe’s web site at http://www.adobe.com/.

The databases

UN Documents

Scope

 

The ODS comprises the full text of United Nations parliamentary documents (including resolutions and decisions) issued at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations Office in Geneva since 1993 as well as at the United Nations Office in Vienna since 1997. The number of duty stations covered by the ODS is expanding as the regional commissions have started to load documents. In addition to parliamentary documentation, United Nations administrative issuances (ST/AI/-, ST/IC/- and ST/SGB/-), considered valid at time of input, are included in the database.

 

General Assembly resolution 52/214 of 22 Dec. 1997 requested “the Secretary-General to complete the task of uploading all important older United Nations documents on the United Nations Web site in all six official languages on a priority basis”. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is in the process of digitizing parliamentary documents published before 1993. Please contact the Dag Hammarskjöld Library  for further information.

 

The official record version of older United Nations resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards are stored separately on ODS in the “Resolutions” database, accessible only from the advanced search screen.

 

Formats

The documents are stored in text format from word-processing programs such as MS Word or WordPerfect and/or portable document format (PDF) converted from text or scanned images.

Language versions

Documents are available in the official languages of the organs or bodies for which they have been issued.  Selected documents are available in German.

Search options

The following types of searches and combinations thereof can be performed on this database:

 

  by document symbol

  by publication or release date

  by words from the title

  by subject

  by agenda item number

  by session

  by job number

  full-text

Resolutions, 1946-

Scope

The resolutions database contains the final official records version of all resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 up to and including 1993 (for General Assembly up to the 51st session of 1996). Before the official record version is available, individual resolutions and decision compilations from 1993 onwards can be found in the “UN documents” database.

Format

The resolutions are stored in portable document format (PDF) converted from scanned images.

Language versions

Resolutions are available in the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

 

Arabic coverage is as follows:

 

General Assembly – 1953 onwards

Security Council and Economic and Social Council – 1983 onwards

Trusteeship Council – not available

Search options

The following types of searches and combinations thereof can be performed on this database:

 

  by document symbol

  by publication date

  by words from the title

  by subject

  by job number

Search options

General search information

Search pages

From ODS welcome page you have access to three separate search forms:

 

  a simple search page

  an advanced search page

  a global search page

 

The simple search page allows the user to search the “UN Documents” database only by document symbol with the option to truncate (right truncation only) and by publication date and to perform a full-text search in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. However, in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish full-text search is possible only for documents published since 1 January 2001.

 

The advanced search page allows the user to select among all available databases and to search by all available search criteria, i.e. by document symbol with the ability to choose the type of truncation, by publication date or release date, by job number, by words in the title, by subject, by session and by agenda item number, as well as full-text search in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. However, in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish full-text search is possible only for documents published since 1 January 2001. Only one database can be searched at a time. All search options may not be available for specific databases (see “The Databases”).

 

Users may switch between the two search pages by clicking the appropriate buttons at the top of each search page.

 

When two or more fields or search boxes are used in a search, the search results will include documents that satisfy all search criteria. For a description of the search criteria, see the sections below.

 

The global search is an additional full-text search option. It uses a different search engine from the one used on simple and advanced search pages of ODS. The level of support for each of the six official languages is unknown because multilingual sensing is proprietary to this search engine. The indexing schedule of this engine is different from the one used internally by ODS. Therefore, the results obtained using the global search option may differ from those obtained when using the full-text option on the simple or advanced search pages.

 

Search results

A successful search will yield a list of documents. Should a search yield the message “0 document(s) found”, it is recommended that you verify the information entered on the search page. Please consult the relevant sections of this help text and modify your search strategy accordingly.

Revising an existing search

In order to revise your original search criteria, click the browser’s “Back” button until you see the search form that you used. After modifying the form, click the “Search” button to re-launch your query.

Language of screen

The user can change the language of the screens to any of the six official languages of the United Nations by clicking on the red language links at the top of both the simple and advanced search pages. Please be aware that changing the screen language will automatically change the language of search.

 

Searching by document symbol

A document symbol serves as a unique identifier for a document. United Nations documents are identified by symbols which consist of a combination of letters and numbers with each element separated from the next by a stroke (/). Searching by document symbol is the most precise search option as it allows searching for one specific document, including any revisions, addenda and corrigenda.

 

Examples

 

A/52/100 – General Assembly document from the fifty-second session

 

S/1997/100 – Security Council document issued in 1997

 

E/1997/100 – Economic and Social Council document from the 1997 sessions

 

ST/AI/405 – Administrative instruction issued by the Secretariat

E/CN.4/1997/1 – document of the Commission on Human Rights, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council

E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/1 – document of the Sub Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights

Note:   Punctuation characters are ignored in symbol searches, e.g. document E/CN.4/1996/1/Add.1 will also be retrieved when entered without the punctuation as ECN419961ADD1.

 

For more information about United Nations document symbols, please consult the United Nations documentation: research guide .

 

 

United Nations Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) is a reference database created and maintained by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library that lists thousands of document symbols for frequently requested types of United Nations documents and may facilitate the searching for specific documents on ODS.

 

Links to UNIQUE and the United Nations documentation research guide are provided on the “Useful links” page, which can be accessed from both search pages by clicking the “Useful links” button.

 

Certain types of United Nations documents do not have complete document symbols; nevertheless, they can be retrieved following the examples below:

 

S/SUPP/year/quarter (in Arabic numerals), e.g. S/SUPP/1988/2

Resolutions and decisions

Individual resolutions in official records format adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 until 1993 (General Assembly until 1996) are accessible on the “Resolutions” database. Before the official record version is published, individual resolutions adopted by the General Assembly or the Security Council are accessible on the “UN Documents” database.

 

General Assembly and Economic and Social Council decisions from 1946 onwards as well as Economic and Social Council resolutions from 1993 onwards can be accessed through the sessional or annual compilation. Resolutions and decisions of other United Nations bodies, e.g. the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme or the Commission on Human Rights, can only be accessed through their annual or sessional reports and/or compilation of resolutions/decisions. Please consult the United Nations Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) for listings of document symbols for those compilations and reports. For more information about United Nations resolutions and decisions, and how they are issued, please consult the United Nations documentation: research guide.

 

When searching for individual resolutions by symbol in the “United Nations resolutions” database, please follow the examples below:

General Assembly

A/RES/#### (session in Roman numerals for regular sessions I-XXX, special sessions S-I to S-VII and emergency sessions ES-I to ES-V), e.g.

 

A/RES/3450 (XXX)

 

A/RES/3362 (S-VII)

 

A/RES/2256 (ES-V)

 

A/RES/session, from 31st to the 51st regular session, from the 8th to the 18th special session and from the 6th to the 9th emergency special session/###, e.g.

 

A/RES/47/120

 

A/RES/S-18/3

 

A/RES/ES-9/1

Security Council

S/RES/### (year, from 1946 to 1993), e.g.

 

S/RES/598 (1987)

Economic and Social Council

E/RES/#### (session in Roman numerals for sessions I-LXIII), e.g.

 

E/RES/1296 (XLIV)

 

E/RES/year, from 1978 to 1993/###, e.g.

 

E/RES/1991/50

Trusteeship Council

T/RES/### (session in Roman numerals for regular sessions I-LIV, special sessions S-I to S-XVIII), e.g.

 

T/RES/2158 (LIV)

 

T/RES/2187 (S-XVIII)

 

As the system is set to right symbol truncation by default, it is not always necessary to know the complete resolution symbol: searching for S/RES/598 will find S/RES/598 (1987); E/RES/1296 will find E/RES/1296 (XLIV).

It may be necessary to set truncation to “None” in order to retrieve specific resolutions, e.g. in order to retrieve only A/RES/48/1 and not A/RES/48/10-19 and 100-199, change truncation setting to “None”.

 

When searching for decision compilations in the “United Nations resolutions” database, please follow the examples below:

General Assembly

A/DEC/(session in Roman numerals for regular sessions X-XXX and special sessions S-V to S-VII), e.g.

 

A/DEC/(XXX)

 

A/DEC/(S-VII)

 

A/DEC/(session in Arabic numerals for regular sessions 31 to 48, special sessions S-8 to S-18, and emergency special sessions ES-6 to ES-9), e.g.

 

A/DEC/47

 

A/DEC/S-18

 

A/DEC/ES-9

Security Council

Not available.

Economic and Social Council

E/DEC/(session in Roman numerals for sessions VI-LXIII), e.g.

 

E/DEC/(LXII)

 

E/DEC/year (from 1978 to 1993), e.g.

 

E/DEC/1991

Trusteeship Council

Comprehensive coverage is not available.

Symbol lexicon

The “Lexicon” feature offers a list of documents in document symbol order from which one document can be selected for searching.

Start by typing the beginning of a document symbol, including correct punctuation, in the document symbol search box on the search page.

 

Example: E/CN.17/2001

 

Click the “Lexicon” button next to the search box. This will open a new window listing document symbols in alphabetical order beginning with document E/CN.17/2001/1.

 

Scroll down the list until you see the document symbol that you would like to use in your search. You can click on the “prev” button to see the preceding symbols or the “next” button to see the next symbols. Choose the document symbol by clicking on it and then click on the “Select” button at the bottom of the window. The full document symbol will be entered in the document symbol search box on the search page. Finally, click the “Search” button to launch the search.

 

To return to the search page without selecting a document symbol from the list presented in the “Lexicon” window, click the “Close” button.

Symbol truncation

The symbol truncation field allows a user to perform searches on the database using a truncated (incomplete) form of a United Nations document symbol (right truncation is the default selection). These options are as follows:

 

Right: The search is performed on the basis of right truncation of the symbol entered, e.g. A/52/101 will retrieve A/52/101 and A/52/101/Rev.1, A/52/101/Rev.1/Add.1 as well as A/52/1010-1019.

 

Please note that the right truncation setting does not allow entering only a single letter, e.g. A (for General Assembly) or S (for Security Council).

 

Left: The search is performed on the basis of left truncation of the symbol entered, e.g. 52/33 will generate a list that will include A/52/33, A/C.5/52/33, A/RES/52/33, DL/1995/233, S/1995/233, S/25233, etc.

 

Right and Left: The search is performed on the basis of full truncation of the symbol entered, i.e. it combines right and left truncation, e.g. 52/101 will retrieve A/52/101 and A/52/101/Rev.1, A/52/101/Rev.1/Add.1 as well as A/52/1010-1019.

 

None: The search will return one document matching exactly the symbol entered.

Searching by publication date or release date

The publication date is the date on which the drafting of the document is completed and the manuscript is submitted for processing, i.e. editing, translation, text processing and printing. This date appears at the top (masthead) of the document, usually below the document symbol. The release date is the date when the document officially issued.

 

 

Date From: Enter the beginning of the date range in format DD/MM/YYYY

 

Date To: Enter the end of the date range in format DD/MM/YYYY

 

Note:  The year field requires four digits, e.g. 1996. If two digits are entered, 46-99 will default to 1946-1999 and 00-45 will default to 2000-2045.

Searching by subject

Documents and resolutions are indexed using the UNBIS Thesaurus. Only subject terms included in the UNBIS Thesaurus  may be used for searching, i.e. topical and geographical subjects. You may enter multiple subject terms, but you must place an ampersand (&) between each of them. Documents will be retrieved that have been assigned all subject terms entered. A subject term may consist of a phrase, e.g. environmental protection.

 

Example:

 

To search for documents concerning environmental protection in Costa Rica, enter environmental protection & Costa Rica in the subject field.

Subject lexicon

The “Lexicon” feature offers a list of subject terms in alphabetical order from which one subject can be selected for searching.

Start by typing the beginning of a subject term in the subject search box on the search page.

 

Example: environment

 

Click the “Lexicon” button next to the subject search box. This will open a new window listing 40 subject terms in alphabetical order beginning with the term “environment”. The number in parentheses next to each subject term indicates the number of documents in the database with this subject.

 

Scroll down the list until you see the subject term that you would like to use in your search. Click on the “prev” button to see the preceding 40 subjects or the “next” button to see the next 40 subjects. Select the subject term by clicking on it. Next, click the “Select” button at the bottom of the “Lexicon” window. The subject term will be entered in the subject search box on the search page.

 

To return to the search page without selecting a subject from the list presented in the “Lexicon” window, click the “Close” button.

Searching for words from the title

One or more words may be entered; this function selects documents with titles containing all the words entered. The words will be matched exactly as they are entered, i.e. searching for the word “system” will not return titles containing the word “systems”. Words can be entered in upper or lower case. Please note that titles are taken from the first page of the document only. Titles of documents that are transmitted through or annexed to another document are not retrievable using this search option, but need to be searched using the full-text search option. Also note that recently issued documents are often given abbreviated titles.

 

Examples:

 

To search for letters submitted by the Sudan, enter letter Sudan in the title field. The order of the words does not matter.

 

To search for reports by the Secretary-General on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, enter nuclear-weapon-free middle east secretary-general in the title field.

Searching by agenda item number

The basic background document for meetings held by most United Nations organs and bodies is the agenda, which consists of consecutively numbered topics (agenda items) to be discussed during a specific session. Documents for a specific session are submitted under one or more agenda items. The Security Council only discusses one topic per meeting and therefore its documents are not issued under agenda items. The same topic may be discussed under different agenda item numbers at different sessions, e.g. United Nations reform was discussed at the fifty-second session of the General Assembly under agenda item number 157, at the fifty-third session, the same topic was assigned agenda item number 30. Agenda item numbers are often subdivided, e.g. agenda item 71 on the topic of general and complete disarmament at the fifty-third session of the General Assembly is further subdivided into sub-items 71(a)-(t). One or more agenda item numbers separated by a space may be entered. This function selects the documents having all of the indicated value(s) within the agenda item field.

 

To retrieve meaningful results, you should combine an agenda item search with other search criteria, e.g. the series symbol of a United Nations body and the session or year when the body met.

 

Example:

 

To search for documents submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session under agenda item 157 (United Nations reform), enter 52 in the session field and 157 in the agenda item field.

Searching by session

Most United Nations bodies meet regularly in sessions. Sessions are identified on the documents either by a sequential number or by the year and a sequential number or a designation of different parts of the session, e.g. fifty-second session; 1998, first regular session; 1998, substantive session, etc. One or more session numbers separated by a space may be entered; this function selects the documents having all of the indicated values within the session field. Session numbers may be entered using the truncation symbol (*), e.g. 1999*. This can be helpful when a United Nations body holds several sessions per year.

 

To yield meaningful results, a session search should be combined with other search criteria, such as the series symbol of the United Nations body to which the document was submitted.

 

Examples:

 

To search for documents concerning rights of the child submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, enter 51 in the session field and rights of the child in the subject field.

 

 

Following is a list of session designations used in the database. Please note that the session designations may be applicable to more than one United Nations body.

 

53             regular session; applies to General Assembly, Security Council, and certain subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council, e.g. the Commission on Human Rights

 

19SP        special session; applies to General Assembly and certain subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council, e.g. the Commission on Human Rights

 

10EMSP  emergency special session; applies only to the General Assembly

 

1999-O     organizational session (of 1999); applies to the Economic and Social Council and some of its subsidiary bodies

 

1999-S     substantive session (of 1999); applies only to the Economic and Social Council

 

1999-1      1st regular session (of 1999); applies e.g. to the Executive Board ofUNDP

 

1999-2      2nd regular session (of 1999); applies e.g. to the Executive BoardofUNDP

 

1999-A     annual session (of 1999); applies e.g. to the Executive Board ofUNDP

 

1999-3      3rd regular session (of 1999); applies e.g. to the Executive BoardofUNDP

Job number search

The system allows searching by job number. This search should retrieve only one document because the job number is unique for each document.

 

Example: N0102356. If N01023* is entered, a list of all documents having job numbers starting with these digits will be selected.

Full-text search

Full-text searching is available on both the simple and the advanced search pages. Full-text searches can be performed in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish using either a pre-set search type or search expressions with (Boolean) operators. However, in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish full-text search is possible only for documents published since 1 January 2001Some documents stored only in image format cannot be retrieved by a full-text search.

Language of search

Full-text searches can be performed in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. Specify the language of your full-text search by selecting it from the drop-down menu.

Type of full-text search

ODS offers three convenient preset search types that should meet most users’ needs for full-text searching: “Find this phrase”, “Find all the words”, and “Find any of the words”. In addition, more complex searches can be performed by constructing search expressions using (Boolean) operators. The full-text search type can be selected from the corresponding drop-down menu. Please read the following instructions and review the examples carefully.

Find all the words

This search will retrieve documents containing all the words specified in the full-text search box. Hyphenated words should be entered with the hyphen(s) for accurate results. Commonly used words in a full text search operation do not necessarily yield good hit lists. On the contrary, users may get useless results. Search engines are more efficient if search criteria do not contain common words. This application will therefore exclude a number of common words such as “the”, “a”, “of” and warn the user before the search operation begins. The wildcard (?) and truncation (*) symbols may also be used (see below).

 

Examples:

 

To search for documents containing the words Chernobyl, health and Ukraine, enter Chernobyl health Ukraine in the full-text search box and select “Find all the words” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

To search for documents containing the words troop-contributing and reimburse and/or variations, such as reimburses, reimbursed, reimbursement, etc, enter reimburse* troop-contributing in the full-text search box and select “Find all the words” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

Find any of the words

This search will retrieve all documents that contain either one or some or all of the words specified in the full-text search box. Hyphenated words should be entered with the hyphen(s) for accurate results. Commonly used words in a full text search operation do not necessarily yield good hit lists. On the contrary, users may get useless results. Search engines are more efficient if search criteria do not contain common words. This application will therefore exclude a number of common words such as “the”, “a”, “of” and warn the user before the search operation begins. The wildcard (?) and truncation (*) symbols may also be used (see below).

 

Example:

 

To search for documents containing either the word oil or the word petroleum, enter oil petroleum in the full-text search box and select “Find any of the words” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

Find this phrase

A phrase consists of two or more words adjacent to each other. This search will retrieve all documents containing phrases that exactly match the phrase entered in the full-text search box. Hyphenated words should be entered with the hyphen(s) for accurate results.

 

Example:

To search for documents mentioning the reimbursement of troop-contributing States, enter reimbursement of troop-contributing states in the full-text search box and select “Find this phrase” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

Boolean operators

This search mode may become necessary for more complex searches that combine some or all of the above preset search types.

 

Currently, the system allows users to construct their own search strategies using the following Boolean operators: AND, OR, AND NOT and SENTENCE.

 

The AND operator works in the same way as the “Find all the words” search type and the OR operator is the equivalent to the “Find any of the words” search type.

 

The AND NOT operator allows users to exclude documents that contain specific words or phrases in the text.

 

The SENTENCE operator works similar to the AND operator, except that the words and phrases have to appear fairly close to each other in the text of the document.

 

The system allows a search to be structured with the help of parentheses ( ).

 

All words that need to be matched exactly and all phrases have to be enclosed in quotation marks (“”).

 

Hyphenated words should be entered with the hyphen(s) for accurate results.

 

The wildcard (?) and truncation (*) symbols may also be used (see below).

 

Examples:

 

To search for documents containing either the word oil or the word petroleum or both and that also mention Iraq, enter the following search expression in the full-text search box:

 

(oil OR petroleum) AND iraq

 

Then select “Use Boolean operators” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

Using parentheses in this search will direct the system to process the search in two steps and in a specific order: first, it will retrieve all documents containing either the word oil or the word petroleum or both words. In the second step, the system will identify those documents in the set that was retrieved in the first search step that also contain the word Iraq.

 

To search for documents containing the name Office of Internal Oversight Services or its acronym OIOS, enter the following search expression in the full-text search box:

 

office of internal oversight services” OR oios

 

Then select “Use Boolean operators” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

A more complex search could look like this:

 

To search for documents regarding the revenues earned by Iraq from oil sales:

(oil OR petroleum) AND (revenue OR income) AND sale AND iraq

 

To search for documents that mention women soldiers or female soldiers, but not in the context of peacekeeping, enter the following search expression in the full-text search box:

 

(wom?n soldiers OR female soldiers) AND NOT peacekeeping

 

Then select “Use Boolean operators” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

To find documents that mention best practices in relation to the prevention of AIDS, enter the following search expression in the full-text search box:

 

best practices” SENTENCE aids SENTENCE prevent*

 

Then select “Use Boolean operators” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

Using the SENTENCE operator in this example will ensure that the words and phrases appear close to each other in the text and will limit the search results.

 

Wildcard and truncation

The wildcard (?) and truncation (*) symbols may be used anywhere in the search when spelling variations, irregular plural forms or variations of words in general need to be retrieved. Both symbols work in all search types.

 

The wildcard symbol (?) is used to replace a single letter in a word.

 

The truncation symbol (*) is used to replace a string of characters either at the beginning or at the end of a word.

 

Examples:

 

To search for documents mentioning the name “Ruud Lubbers” when you are unsure about the exact spelling of the name:

 

Enter “ru?d lub?ers” in the full-text search box and select “Find this phrase” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

To search for documents mentioning the name “Mary Robinson” when you are unsure about the exact ending of the first and last names:

 

Enter “mar* robins*” in the full-text search box and select “Find this phrase” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

 

To search for documents regarding the implementation of or follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit, enter the following search expression in the full-text search box:

 

mil?en?ium summit” AND outcome AND (follow-up or implement*)

 

Then select “Use Boolean operators” from the “Type of full-text search” drop-down menu.

Sort results by

The ODS allows users to sort their search results in three different ways:

 

  by publication date listing the most recent documents first;

  by document symbol in digital sort order;

  by relevance ranking, listing the most relevant document first.  This setting is recommended for full-text searches.

 

Simply select the sort type from the “Sort results by” drop-down menu.

Display XXX results per page

The default value for the number of documents listed per page in the search results is set to 20. On the advanced search page, users can change this setting to any number from 1 to 999. Please note that the higher the number, the more time the system will need to process the search.

Maximum results: XXX

It is possible to limit the number of document results for a search. Thus, only the XXX first documents retrieved by the query are displayed. If the default value is 0, then there is no maximum document limit and all the documents retrieved are displayed.

Display, print and download

Whatever the search, the system always displays:

 

  the number of documents found;

  a list of documents on successive pages (depending on the number of documents found) which can be accessed by clicking on the “previous” or “next” links;

  the range of documents displayed;

  a link allowing the user to perform a new search;

  a link to log out of the web site.

 

When showing any document in the list, the system provides the publication date; it also supplies the document symbol as a hypertext link allowing the document to be displayed. In addition, the languages available and the document title are displayed.

 

A click on the hypertext link leads to another screen containing the following information:

 

  the title of the document;

  the publication date;

  the document symbol;

  the session/year;

  the agenda item number;

  the subjects;

  the languages in which the document is available;

  the job numbers with the associated languages;

  the release date.

Displaying and printing the document

Click on the language of your choice next to “Display PDF File” to retrieve and display the document in the desired language in PDF format. Each document will be displayed as one PDF file.

Downloading the document in its original word-processing format

This enables the user to download the document in its original word-processing format. Click on a language version of the document after “Download File”. To save the file on the hard disk of your computer, click the right mouse button. If you are using Netscape, select the “Save link as” option; if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, select “Save target as”. The operating system will present you with the appropriate dialogue box where you can select the directory in which to save the document and give it a name of your choice.

Useful links page

The ODS Useful links page shows the following links:

 

· New York ODS site (http://www.ods.un.org)

 

· Geneva ODS site (http://www.ods.unog.ch)

 

· United Nations documentation: research guide.

This online guide (http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/) to United Nations documentation from the Dag Hammarskjöld Library provides an overview of documentation and publications issued by the Organization (e.g. reports, resolutions, meeting records, sales publications and press releases) and gives guidance on how to work with them.

 

· UNBISnet

UNBISnet (http://unbisnet.un.org/) is the Dag Hammarskjöld Library’s online catalogue. In addition to a bibliographic database containing records for all United Nations documents, selected materials from the specialized agencies, and books and journals held by the library, users may search in special databases for voting records and speech records.
 

· UNBIS Thesaurus

The UNBIS thesaurus (http://lib-thesaurus.un.org/) contains subject terms used by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library to describe the content of United Nations documents and publications.  Consulting the UNBIS Thesaurus for correct subject terms will ensure successful searches by subject in the ODS.  The UNBIS Thesaurus can be browsed and searched in the six official languages of the United Nations.

 

· United Nations Info Quest (UN-I-QUE)

The UN-I-QUE database (http://lib-unique.un.org/) of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library may be used as a research tool to identify appropriate United Nations document symbols in order to search for specific items in ODS.

 

·  Links to the following web sites in Geneva:

 

1.  Daily Bulletin of Meetings

2.  Press releases

3.  Calendar of events

4.  List of Permanent Missions

5.  NGO Database

 

·  Adobe Acrobat button to download the PDF Reader software.