OAsis is the Commonwealth of Learning‘s online institutional repository of all publications. It is an Open Access repository. Any publication found here can be freely downloaded for reuse and adaptation. Creative Commons (Version 4, Intergovernmental) BY-SA is the default license used. Please attribute COL as the publisher. However, some publications are licensed under Creative Commons SA and some classified as “Governance” are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND.
This help guide provides an overview of how to search and browse for publications in OAsis, as well as OAsis’ organization and display options. Many examples are supplied throughout and many of your questions will be answered. For example, how do you find a presentation that Asha Kanwar gave in 2008? How do you search for an exact phrase? Is there a way to filter searches by subject?
Please feel free to ask questions or provide feedback. We can be reached via email or feedback form.
OAsis is organized into communities which, in turn, are sub-divided into collections of items (Figure 1).
For example, the “06. Speeches & Presentations” community is sub-divided into collections by year (Figure 2).
There are two ways to browse from the OAsis homepage:
- Via the list of communities in the middle of the page, and
- Via the Browse area in the sidebar (Figure 3).
To browse via method 1, select the community that you wish to browse from the list. To browse via method 2, select an option from the Browse area of the sidebar.
Browse method 2 allows you to go through a list of items in a specified order.
Browsing by Communities & Collections, opens up an expandable list of OAsis communities and collections.
Browsing by Issue Date allows you to move through a list of all documents in OAsis in reverse chronological order.
Browsing by Authors allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all authors of documents in OAsis.
Browsing by Titles allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all titles of documents in OAsis.
Browsing by Subjects allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all subject headings assigned to documents in OAsis.
Browsing by Document Type allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all document types assigned to documents in OAsis.
Browsing by Series allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all Series in OAsis.
Browsing by Region allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all regions assigned to documents in OAsis.
Browse method 2 is also available for community and collection-specific browsing. While within a community or collection, a community- or collection-specific browse area appears in the sidebar (Figure 4).
What is searched?
The word(s) you type in the search boxes will be searched against the title, author, subject, abstract, region, and series fields of each record.
What is not searched?
The search engine ignores certain words (a.k.a. stop words) that occur frequently in the English language, but do not add value to the search. These include “and”, “are”, “as”, “at”, “be”, “by”, “for”, “if”, “in”, “into”, “is”, “it”, “no”, “not”, “of”, “on”, “or”, “such”, “the”, “to”, “was.”
To search all of OAsis
- At the top of the sidebar, there is a search box. In this search box, type your search query.
- Click the magnifying glass icon to initiate your search. (Figure 5).
To limit your search to a specific community
- Navigate to a community, either from the list in the middle of the homepage or via the Communities & Collections link in the sidebar (Figure 6).
- The page for that community appears with a search box in the middle of the page that is labelled, “Search within this community and its collections.”
- In this search box, type your search query.
- Click the Go button to initiate your search (Figure 7).
To limit your search to a specific collection
- Navigate to a collection by first going to a community (Figure 6).
- The page for a community will have a list called Collections in this community. Select a collection from this list (Figure 8).
- The page for that collection appears with a search box in the middle of the page that is labelled, “Search within this collection.”
- In this search box, type your search query.
- Click the Go button to initiate your search (Figure 9).
Use the following search techniques to build complex search queries and tell OAsis’ search engine what you want to find.
Use an asterisk (*) in place of a character in your search term to indicate that any number of characters (including no character) can be substituted in place of the asterisk.
For example, child* will retrieve records having the terms child, children, childhood, and so on.
- Do not use the asterisk too early in a word because it may broaden the search to unrelated topics. For example, chil* would retrieve all records with terms starting with chi (not just child).
- When unsure of the spelling of an author’s name, use an asterisk to retrieve the name in its different forms. For example: Agut* or Shak*l.
- When a word can be spelled in different ways, but still has the same meaning, use an asterisk.
To search using multiple words as a phrase, put quotation marks (“) around the phrase.
For example, “women leaders” will retrieve only results that have the phrase “women leaders” while women leaders will retrieve only results that have either term or both terms.
- When you know the exact wording of part or all of a title, put quotation marks around this part of your search query. For example, Access and success in learning.
- Phrase searching is also useful when searching for exact names, For example, Cook Island.
The following Boolean operators can be used to combine terms. Note that they must all be CAPITALIZED.
AND – to limit searches so that results will only contain all the words or phrases combined with this operator.
For example, radio AND station will retrieve all results that contain BOTH the words “radio” and “station”
OR – to enlarge searches to find items containing any of the words or phrases surrounding this operator.
For example, technical OR vocational will retrieve all results that contain EITHER the words “technical” or “vocational.”
NOT – to exclude results containing the word following this operator. Alternatively, you can use a minus (-) sign immediately before an unwanted search word.
For example, education NOT higher and education -higher will both retrieve all results that contain the word “education” EXCEPT those that also contain the word “higher.”
- Use parentheses () to group search terms into sets, and operators can then be applied to whole sets.
For example, (technical OR vocational) AND (open OR innovative) will search for the following word combinations: technical AND open, technical AND innovative, vocational AND open, vocational AND innovative.
- If a multiple word search query has no search functions applied to it, OAsis defaults to placing an OR operator between words.
The search engine automatically expands words with common endings to include plurals, past tenses, etc.
For example, age will retrieve results that contain the terms ages, aged, aging, and so on.
When searching, you can refine your search by using the facets in the Refine Search area of the sidebar or by using the Advanced Filters on search results screens.
When searching, the Refine Search area of the sidebar appears. You can refine your search by simply clicking on the links under any one of the following facets: Author, Subject, Date Issued, Region, Series, and Document Type. For example, if you navigate to the “Books” collection of the “01. Research & Publications” community, you can refine your search by clicking on “Distance Education” under the Subject facet (Figure 10).
Note: facets will appear in the sidebar depending if a facet exists as a field in any of your results. For example, governance documents are not a part of any series so there is no Series facet when searching the Governance community.
Using Advanced Filters
When using the search bars to search, the Advanced Filters option appears on the results page. For example, searching women leaders from the search bar on the homepage will bring you to a results page with an option to Show Advanced Filters.
- Click on the Show Advanced Filters link. This opens up the filters area (labeled Refine Search).
- The default option is to search for Title Contains. Enter a search query into the empty search bar.
- Click the Apply button. The filter is applied and a new results list is produced (Figure 11).
Note: the first two boxes (defaulted to Title and Contains) are drop-down menus that allow you to change the combination of search filters. As well, the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons allow you to add and remove lines of filtering to create more complex filter queries.
On search results pages, there is the option to sort results and change the number of results displayed. This can be done by clicking the gear button (Figure 12).
The following are a few search examples to demonstrate the various search processes mentioned in this help guide. Note that there are many different ways to reach the goals and that these steps show only one way.
Goal: find working papers discussing higher education in Africa
- Step 1 – Go to the Conference Proceedings & Working Papers community
- Step 2 – Search just within the community by typing “higher education” (include the quotation marks) in the middle search bar
- Step 3 – Using the Refine Search area of the sidebar, refine by Region to Africa
Goal: find recent books on distance education where Asha Kanwar is an author or editor
- Step 1 – Click on the Research & Publications community
- Step 2 – Click on the Books collection
- Step 3 – Search just within the collection by typing “distance education” (include the quotation marks) in the middle search bar
- Step 4 – Using the Refine Search area of the sidebar, refine by Date Issued to 2010-2016
- Step 5 – Using the Refine Search area of the sidebar, refine by Author to Kanwar, Asha
Goal: find a presentation by Sir John Daniel from 2012 that has the word “technology” in the title
- Step 1 – Click on the Speeches & Presentations community
- Step 2 – Using the Refine Search area of the sidebar, refine by Author to Daniel, John
- Step 3 – Using the Refine Search area of the sidebar, refine by Issue Date to 2012
- Step 4 – Click on the Show Advanced Filters link
- Step 5 – Click any + button to add another search filter line
- Step 6 – Type technology in the new line and click the Apply button
Related Publishing Policies
Springer’s Self-archiving policy
Publishing in a subscription-based journal:
By signing the Copyright Transfer Statement you still retain substantial rights, such as self-archiving:
“Authors may self-archive the author’s accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/ she may not use the publisher’s version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer’s website. The link must be provided by inserting the DOI number of the article in the following sentence: “The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/[insert DOI]”.”
Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like arXiv.org can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with the author’s accepted version. The final published version (in PDF or HTML/XML format) cannot be used for this purpose. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link should be inserted to the published article on Springer’s website, by inserting the DOI number of the article in the following sentence: “The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/[insert DOI]”.
When publishing an article in a subscription journal, without open access, authors sign the Copyright Transfer Statement (CTS) which also details Springer’s self-archiving policy.
Publishing open access:
If you publish your article open access, the final published version can be archived in institutional or funder repositories and can be made publicly accessible immediately.
Policy accessible online here.