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Search Tips

Selecting Search Mode

Before entering your search term, select either "Keyword" or "Document Number". The "Keyword Search" is the default selection. See Keyword Search and Document Number Search below for more detail.

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search will search for terms within the following fields:

  • Document Title
  • Document Abstract
  • Abstract (if available)


The Keyword Search employs stemming, which means that if the term entered is a complete word that is also the base for other words, records containing that base word and its variants will be returned. For example, if you search on "Hazard", you will find records that include the term "Hazardous", "Hazards", etc.

Automatic "and" Searches

By default, the Keyword Search only returns records that include all of your search terms. The order that you use for the search terms does not impact the success of the search results.

Exact Phrase Searching

If you wish to find records that contain exact phrases, place your search phrase in quotation marks. For example, if you would like to find all records that have the exact phrase Fire Service Professional, form your search as follows: “Fire Service Professional”.


Text searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for "Programming", "programming", "PROGRAMMING", or “ProGraMMinG” will all return the same results.

Document Number Search

When searching on Document Number, you are searching only the Document Number field in the standard record. Separating Document Number search from Keyword search gives you more flexibility in searching and can allow for more accurate results. You may search on the complete Document Number or any contiguous part of the Document Number. For best results, you should search on the "core" of the Document Number. The "core" is the main part of the Document Number without prefixes (such as a developer acronym) or suffixes (such as a year date). Here are some examples of the "core" Document Number:

Complete Document Number "Core" Document Number
ANSI/SAAMI Z299.4-1992 Z299.4
ASTM B896-99 B896
DOD-C-63537A NOT 2 63537

Keep in mind that it is not required that you search on the “core” of the Document Number to achieve desired results. You may search any contiguous segment of the Document Number.

For example, you could search on 896-99 using the Document Number search and still return the record for ASTM B896-99.

“Smart” replacement of character separators

Document numbers for standards are frequently published in slightly different forms and the ESS search accounts for this with its “smart” replacement function.

Any one of a set of character separators in a Document Number are seen by the search engine as interchangeable and any necessary substitution will be made without the user having to take action. These interchangeable character separators are: “-“, “.”, “:”, and “/”.

So a user can search on a Document Number using any of these interchangeable character separators and achieve a successful search result.


The user wants to find the standard with the original and correct Document Number of ISO 10014:2006. In addition to searching on this original Document Number, the user could also search on any of the following variations (and more) and get a successful result:

+ ISO 10014-2006
+ ISO 10014/2006
+ ISO-10014:2006
+ ISO/10014-2006