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Searching the official document system (ods)

Searching the official document system (ods)



ODS is the Official document database for all documents. This presentation provides guidance on researching various documents from various approaches such as symbol, title and subject

ODS is the Official document database for all documents. This presentation provides guidance on researching various documents from various approaches such as symbol, title and subject



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    Searching the official document system (ods) Searching the official document system (ods) Presentation Transcript

    • Searching the Official Document System (ODS) Reference Team UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library 212 9637412 [email_address]
    • What is ODS
      • Full-text database of official UN documents
      • Started in 1993 and required password for access
      • Became available to the general public in 2004
    • What is available on ODS:
      • Comprehensive, though not complete, coverage of all types of publicly-available UN documentation began in the early to mid-1990s.
      • resolutions going back to 1946 (Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and Trusteeship Council)
      • Major Security Council documents going back to 1946 and selected General Assembly documents going back to 1985
      • draft resolutions
      • meeting Records (PVs and SRs) – may come sometime later
      • reports
      • letters, note verbales
      • daily journals
      • administrative issuances (ST/AI/-, ST/IC/-, ST/SGB/-)
      • Administrative Tribunal Judgments
    • What can’t be accessed in ODS?
      • Most documents created prior to the early to mid-1990s (prior to the mid-1980s for General Assembly)
      • UN sales publications (e.g. 04.II.K.7)
      • UN public information materials (eg. Brochures, pamphlets)
      • UN press releases and briefings (see News Centre Web site)
      • UN Treaty Series (see Treaties database via the International Law link in UN website)
      • Documents that are not publicly released. E.g Oil-for-Food report
    • How to Access ODS
      • Through: www.un.org
      • Via iSeek, the UN Intranet, under QUICKLINKS
      • There are 2 search screens for ODS:
          • Enhanced ODS Search (quite new):
          • http://documents.un.org/s.html (via iSeek)
          • http://www.un.org/en/documents/ods/ (via the UN website)
        • Old ODS Search (Classic ODS)
          • http://documents.un.org
    • Enhanced ODS
      • Features include:
        • Google type search,
        • may limit your results to the issuing body, by date or language
        • allows one to create RSS feeds
        • document can only be opened in pdf format
        • each language version is a hit so your results will be high
        • searches across all databases within ODS including the old resolutions database so no need to conduct a separate search for this.
        • Need to include the slashes (/) when doing symbol search
        • Allow use of Boolean connectors to refine or combine search
        • *See p.7 of handout
    • Old (Classic)ODS
      • 2 Search screens:
        • 1. Simple search screen
          • Searches the UN documentation database only (1993 onwards)
          • Search by document symbol or full-text
          • Does not search for old resolutions (1946-1993)
          • *see p.8 of handout
    • Classic ODS
    • Classic ODS
    • Classic ODS
    • Classic ODS
      • 2. Advanced Search screen :
      • Features:
        • a ) Various databases:
          • UN documentation database
          • Old resolutions database (1946-1993)
          • Daily journals
          • Daily lists of documents for Geneva and Vienna
      • b) More searching options:
          • Symbol (more truncating option)
          • Date searching (also available in simple search)
          • Title
          • Subject
          • Agenda number and session
          • Full-text
          • *see p.11
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Resolutions database:
      • General Assembly resolutions from 1946-1975 do not include the session numbers in the symbols, numbers were consecutive, with the session written as roman numerals in brackets, e.g., A/RES/3056 (XVIII). Session numbers were included from 1976 onwards (31st session), e.g. A/RES/35/46
      • Security Council resolution symbols are consecutive with the year at the end of the symbol in brackets, e.g. S/RES/792 (1992)
      • ECOSOC resolutions are not issued as separate documents and are included in the compilation of resolutions and decisions for the year.
      • *see p.12
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Daily Journal database :
      • Use when you need :
        • summary of meetings that you may have missed
        • information about informal meetings
        • information on chairs of regional groups
        • information on the documents that have been released
      • *see p.13
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Types of searches:
      • Searching by symbol
        • similar to symbol searching in the simple search screen
        • more truncation options available.
        • may combine with other searching option to limit your search to just a particular body or to a type of document, in particular resolutions or meeting records.
        • Clicking on the lexicon button will open a new window listing document symbols in alphabetical order beginning with symbol you type in.
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Searching by date :
      • There are 2 options available for date searching :
        • - by publication date :
          • date when drafting is completed and document is submitted for processing, e.g. editing, translation, etc…date below document symbol
        • - by release date :
          • date when the document becomes available on ODS and to the public.
      • See p.14
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Searching by date:
        • Use when:
          • you need to refine your search to specific date range (can combine with other search options)
          • searching the daily journal database
          • when you are not sure what other search option(s) to use but have an idea of when the document was released/published.
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Searching by Title:
        • no need to know the full title
        • remember that most UN documents have similar titles.
        • most times you will need to combine with another search option to get meaningful result.
        • *see p.15
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Searching by Agenda and session
        • If you are looking for a General Assembly document and know the agenda item and the session, you may find documents on the topic associated with the agenda item.
        • *see p.16
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Full-text searching
      • Full-text searching is available on both the simple and the advanced search pages.
      • Full-text searches can be performed in any of the six official languages using either a pre-set search type or search expressions with (Boolean) operators. 
      • Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish full-text search is possible only for documents published since 1 January 2001. 
      • Some documents stored only in image format cannot be retrieved by a full-text search, in particular all resolutions in the Resolutions database.
      • *see p.17
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Boolean operators
        • This search mode may become necessary for more complex searches that combine some or all of the above preset search types.
        • Currently, the system allows users to construct their own search strategies using the following Boolean operators: AND, OR, AND NOT and SENTENCE .
        • The system allows a search to be structured with the help of parentheses ( ) .
        • All words that need to be matched exactly and all phrases have to be enclosed in quotation marks, “” .
        • *see p.19
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
    • Classic ODS- Advanced Search
      • Subject Search:
      • This training does not cover subject searching because:
        • ODS uses controlled language (UNBIS thesaurus) and not necessarily those that the user would normally use to search, e.g. you may be searching for “children’s rights” when the database uses “rights of the child”;
        • Does not allow searching for names of bodies, conferences, meetings or persons;
        • May use when searching for documents for a specific country;
        • It is recommended that you use the Library catalogue, UNBISnet for subject searching.
    • E-Subscription and Linking
      • e-Subscription:
      • Apply for e-subscription to allow you to receive the latest documents published either by email or through RSS.
      • http://undocs.org/#/home
      • Linking to ODS
      • One can link directly to documents in ODS by using the following URL:
        • http://undocs.org/ A/65/114 : change the symbol (in bold) to reflect the symbol of the document you wish to link to.
      • Send questions to: [email_address]
      • or call Reference desk: 212 963-7412