Searching for a Question
  • 13 Sep 2023
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Searching for a Question

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Article Summary

You can use the text box on the questions page to search for keywords in questions. To search, enter one or more search terms in the search box and press the magnifying glass at the right. 

As shown above, when you’ve selected a filter item, a blue lozenge will be shown in the applicable filter section to help you track your current criteria.

The main search field only searches keywords in question titles and responses, but it searches a wide range of questions in all categories. We suggest you start with the tags filter, then narrow your results using the main search box if needed.

In the search bar, you can use Boolean logic with the following symbols:

  • Add a plus sign (+) meaning and to help narrow the search to a list of questions with all of the terms mentioned: pink + blue.
  • Use a pipe symbol (|) meaning or to expand the search to include any question with either term used: pink | blue.
  • An asterisk (*) acts as a wildcard, so pric* would give you results that include price, prices, and pricing.
  • Use quotation marks to designate two or more words as a phrase, such as “client question”. Be aware that if you use quotation marks to indicate a phrase, questions containing the individual words won’t be returned.
  • A minus sign (-) excludes a term, so if you only wanted items that mention pink without mentioning blue, you would search for pink -blue.
  • Parentheses group things together, so if you wanted to search for items that mention pink and blue or that mention purple, you would search on (pink + blue) | purple.

And, of course, if you want to search the text of the answer options for questions in addition to the question titles, deselect the Search question titles only box.

If you know the exact text of the question, use quotation marks around that text for the best search results.

Once a search is performed, the question list will automatically change to be ordered by relevance. Questions containing the search term in the question text are more relevant than those containing the search term in one of the question responses. When more than one search term is used, questions containing a higher number of search terms are more relevant than those containing fewer search terms.

Question Filters

The question filters are below the text search box. You can narrow down the list of questions using features of the question (i.e., tags, the type of question, when it was launched, when it was completed, etc.). These filters can be used with text box searches for more complex queries.

Category Tags

The tags taxonomy is shown first, then the CivicScience tags. Selecting multiple tag filters doesn’t necessarily narrow down your search, as the system assumes you mean, for instance, tag1 OR tag2 when you choose various tags.


You can search by question classification, sharing permissions, input type, favorites, or a minimum number of responses.

Date Filter

The date filter permits you to search for questions that are currently live (collecting responses) or that were collecting responses during a relative or exact date range.

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