Document Search Guide

Document Search Guide

Use the following search operators to help refine your results. Operators can be used on their own or combined to further filter search results.

Gazette Reference or Medium Neutral Citation

  • Search decisions by their medium neutral citation or WAIG reference exactly as it appears.
  • Example: 95 WAIG 477
  • Example: 2015 WAIRC 00253

Phrase Search

  • Using quotation marks " " returns results containing the exact words within the quote.
  • Example: "contractual benefit" will return all documents that have contractual benefit in the text.

Search Operator - AND

  • Returns results with both terms in the text.
  • Example: "s 44" AND “interim order” will only return results that have both s 44 and interim order in the document.

Search Operator - OR

  • Returns results with either terms or both terms. The OR operator is the default operator and will return more results than the AND operator.
  • Example: harsh OR oppressive will return all documents that have harsh or oppressive in the text.
  • Example: “continuity of service” OR continuous employment will return all documents that have either the exact phrase "continuity of service" or variations of continuous employment in their text.

Search Operator - NOT

  • The search operator NOT returns search results containing the first terms but not the second.
  • Example: contract NOT “fixed term” would return results with the term contract only.

Proximity Search

  • The search operators " "~N are used for proximity searches, which return documents with terms within a specified distance of each other.
  • Example: “payment benefit”~20 will return results where the words payment and benefit are within 20 words of one another.

Wildcard Search

  • A wildcard search using the search operator * will return documents that contain variants of a root word.
  • Example: industr* - will show results that contain industrial, industry, industries, industrious.

Fuzzy search

  • The search operator ~ will search for words similar to the search term.
  • Example: quick~2 will return results with the words quite, quit, quiet etc.
  • Fuzzy searches are useful if you are unsure of spelling.


  • Enclosing parts of your search in brackets forces those terms to be evaluated first.
  • Example:  ("out of time" OR extension) AND dismissal