Search Instructions

What can you search for?

With the FSD search interface, you can search through the FSD web pages and data catalogue, including the codebooks and questionnaires (if available). In addition to other pages, FSDSearch also covers the Finnish Party Agenda Database (POHTIVA), the Research Methods Web Resource (MOTV) and FSD Bulletin in the search. A few index pages have been excluded from the search results. The FSD search interface is based on the Google search engine, so you can use the same search features you would use when googling. If you are interested mainly in research data or particular variables, please see Searching Data Archived at FSD.


You can enter one or more search words in the search box. It makes no difference whether you use upper or lowercase letters because they are automatically turned into lowercase letters in the search. For example, using the search United Kingdom produces the same result as united kingdom.

If you enter as search terms, for example, Finland union attitudes, the system will find documents containing at least one of these words finland, union, or attitudes. All three search terms are not necessarily included in the retrieved documents.

Truncation (searching for part of a word)

Google search does not allow truncation.

Phrase search

Phrase search is available. By putting double quotes around a set of terms, you get only the documents with those exact terms in that exact order. If you put one or more * signs within a phrase, the star is treated as a place holder for any unknown term(s). For example, if you search "vote in the * * elections", the search will find documents which have text such as "Did you vote in the 2007 parliamentary elections?"

Synonyms and exact searching

Google employs synonyms automatically, for example, finding both child care and childcare regardless of which form of the term you have used in the search. However, sometimes you would like to search for an exact term. Putting a plus sign (+) immediately before the search term, you will only get results which match the term precisely as you wrote it. You will get the same result by putting double quotes around the term. You can also put a plus sign before one or more terms in a phrase search.

Excluding search terms

You can use the minus (-) sign to find documents not including a particular term. For example, the search +Sweden -Finland +union +attitudes will find documents including the words sweden, union, and attitudes, but not the word finland anywhere in the document.

Narrowing your search

You can either search all the pages on the FSD website or narrow down your search to data. You can choose by ticking the relevant category below the search box. In addition, you can also choose file format.

updated 2011-01-25