DocumentCloud now supports advanced boolean search queries, allowing you to more easily perform searches that hone right in on the documents you’re trying to find. You may be familiar with boolean operators from other search engines, but here’s a quick refresher on the available options:
- and: both terms must exist in the document Perry and Romney
- or: either term may match indicted or accused
- !: the term must not exist in the document obama !barack
- *: a wildcard to match any sequence of letters J*e Smith (Matches Joe, Jane or Jake Smith)
- ( ): group together words into a term (Perry or Romney) and governor
Here’s an example of what that last search looks like in action:
Behind the scenes, we’re using the latest stable release of the open-source Solr/Lucene search engine (3.4.0). It includes a new query parser called “edismax” that adds boolean operators to the previous implementation of full text search.
Give boolean searches a spin, and let us know if they’re working well for your ongoing projects.
We’ve been hard at work during our short Columbia, Missouri hackathon at DocumentCloud’s new home at the Investigative Reporters & Editors office. As a result we’ve rolled out a new feature for readers and journalists to print annotations made on documents.
Journalists have been publishing documents through DocumentCloud for a while now as well as annotating documents both for readers and for their own story writing processes. We think it’s just as important for DocumentCloud to make story writing quicker and easier as it is to help readers find primary source material.
So, when Marshall Allen of ProPublica told us that he would like to try using DocumentCloud to take his story notes, we did our best to help out. As a result, you can now select one or more documents in the workspace and choose “Print Notes” under the “Publish” menu.
This way you can annotate your sources in DocumentCloud, and have a single copy of all your research ready at hand for your copy editor or read when your flight attendant announces that all power switches should be in the off position.
And readers can find a “Print Notes” link in the sidebar footer of the document viewer too.
We hope this will help readers and journalists alike note and collect information in the format the best suits their workflows. Happy Printing (and remember to recycle)!
Back in August, we announced that we’d be welcoming a new lead developer, but he’s been on the job two weeks already and we managed to forget to say anything like “Welcome aboard!”
Well, better late than never.
Updated! How I left MuckRock out is beyond me. There may be more updates as appropriate.
If you’re new to programming, looking at what others have done is probably the best way to get your bearings. DocumentCloud is no exception. You asked for more, better API examples. We’re long overdue for a roundup of some of the great tools DocumentCloud users have built on our API or otherwise poked their heads under the hood. Continue reading »
On large document-driven projects, newsrooms often bring together teams of collaborators that include independent researchers who aren’t formally part of the newsroom. Newsrooms that want a research team to evaluate thousands of documents — more than our collaboration tools are designed to accommodate — can take advantage of our new access level: the freelancer. A “freelancer” can upload, annotate, and edit documents like any other user, but they can only access documents you’ve explicitly shared with them.
To add a user (or ten) who is going to be contributing reporting but shouldn’t have access to the rest of your newsroom’s documents, you can create an account for a freelancer.
Freelancer accounts are good for anyone that you regularly work with, but who doesn’t actually work for your organization, or for folks you’re bringing together on a single reporting project.
For more information, check out our accounts documentation.