AmCAT Version
This page describes a feature in AmCAT 3.3
View other version: 3.3 - 3.4 - 3.5

In your analysis you are interested in certain concepts. However, textual documents contains words, not concepts. To measure the attention for concepts you have to create search strings that measure the attention for the concepts of interest. With a search string you describe this concept using words. You can optimalize your search strings by using synonyms or wildcards, by including conditions and by searching for phrases rather than merely seperate words. A good search string results in every article containing a certain concept without including irrelevant articles. You can find a complete overview of the rules for formulating search strings by cliking on the 'Search Syntax Help' button below the 'Keyword Search string(s)' field in the AmCAT Query Search function (see yellow box Figure 6.1.1). It is important to note that AmCAT does not take capitals into account for the words you enter in your search strings (e.g., you enter 'obama' in as a search term, not 'Obama'). However, if you use boolean search terms (e.g., OR, AND or NOT) you do need to use capitals. Below you find an overviews if the AmCAT Keyword Search operators.

Please note that the quality of your automatic content analysis depends on the quality of your search strings, which in turn depends on the reliability of your search strings. Hence, it is very important to test the reliability of your search strings.

Notation in Query screen Description
obama OR terrorism; obama terrorism Articles that contain either the word obama or the word terrorism. When there is a blank space between two words, AmCAT automatically selects the boolean search term OR in the search.
obama AND terrorism Articles that contain both the word obama and the word terrorism.
obama NOT terrorism Articles that contain the word obama, but not the word terrorism.
"obama fights terrorism" Articles that contain the particular phrase 'obama fights terrorism'. Only when an article litterally contains these three words in this particular order, they will be found with this search string.
"obama terrorism"~5 Artices that contain the word obama and the word terrorism within five words from each other. You can use any number after the tilde grapheme (~), but it must be higher than two.
"(obama OR biden) (iran OR terrorism)"~10 The article contains either the word obama or the word biden, at a maximum distance of ten words from either the word iran or the word terrorism.
* or ? (wildcards) A ? in a search term indicates that the place of ? can be changed into any character. For example, terrori? can be terrorism or terrorist. The place of a * can be changed into any other character or combination of multiple characters. For example, economi* can be changed to economic, economical, economic state or even into a longer word. You cannot enter a wildcard at the beginnng of a search term.
Indetifier# The hashtag allows you to label your long search string with a clear, single name. The AmCAT output will only display your identifier (the word(s) in front of the hashtag) for your entire search string. For example, if you use the search string Isreal# "israel* OR idf) (attach* OR invade* OR invas*)"~10, AmCAT will only use the word Israel in the output for the search string.
( ) Brackets Using brackets allows you to make more complicated combinations of modifiers like OR, AND or NOT. This is similar to the use of brackets in a mathematical formula.
Headline: obama Displays the articles that contain the word obama in their headlines.
AmCAT Version
This page describes a feature in AmCAT
View other version: 3.3 - 3.4 - 3.5