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Punctuation Marks in Queries

Any character without special meaning in the Verity Query Language can be entered anywhere in a query. For example, this query finds pages that match the word combination:


The following characters have special meaning in the Verity Query Language.

, - +
These characters are Operators.
() {} []
These characters have to be used in pairs, to be valid.

= :
These characters throw a query parsing error.

To search for a string that contains one of these characters, precede the character with a backslash. Search terms with parentheses are automatically rewritten to escape the parentheses. This modification was established to avoid syntax errors, because in many cases the special meaning of the parentheses was not considered.

For example, to find pages that match "(PSYNDEX Tests", enter this query:


PsychSpider modifies the search to "\(PSYNDEX Tests". This modified search string is shown with your result list.

Query Rewriting

Some searches tend to fail with PsychSpider due to syntax errors. Therefore these queries are rewritten to avoid results with zero hits.

  • variants off zone labels (i.e. Google's inurl: or PubPsych's AU:) are mapped to the appropriate label in PsychSpider
  • a colon used in a query without a zone label is substituted with a space (orientation to selfdirected learning: paradox paradigm will be modified to orientation to selfdirected learning paradox paradigm)
  • searches for sites or urls with an equal sign are quoted automatically (i.e. will be modified to url:""
  • A slash enclosed with spaces is substituted with a space. (hyper / hypo will be modified to hyper hypo)
  • Searches with compounds like Non-Compliance are not stemmed while searched. Stemming is language specific. While stemming is enabled a search with a compound might not retrieve documents with this compound containing due to a mismatch between stemmed language of the document and stemmed language of the search.

Commas in a query

If you are using 'searching in zones' don't use commas with your search terms.
A search like author:Mangold, Roland results in 0 hits, because of a query parsing error. Eliminating commas from your search isn't easy done, because within phrases a comma has a meaning.

You can solve the problem. Eliminate commas in your query and PsychSpider will deliver results.

weiterführende Informationen

Additional Information

Tip of the week: Search Engines like PsychSpider follow links within documents to gather more documents. A document can only be found by the search engine, if a hyperlink exists or the search engine knows the exact URL. If you can't find a specific document (i.e. "Psychoanalyse im Wandel der Zeit"), but you know who has published it (i.e. Universität Trier), PsychSpider might help you to get a contact address, so you will be able to request the document via telephone, letter or E-Mail.

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