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Boolean operators | Wild cards | Field searching | Strain designations | More help

Boolean Operators

You may search a single collection or search more than one by choosing the All Resources option. Choosing a single resource will reduce the number of hits and allow you to narrow your search more easily.

If you enter more than one word in the query window, only those records that contain both words will be retrieved. Use Boolean operators or ( | ), and not (^), and exact phrase (" ") to modify search criteria. Wildcards can take the place of one (?) or more (*) characters if you are unsure of the spelling of a word or a strain designation. The following table summarizes functions of Boolean operators. Note that you must use the Boolean symbol, not the word.

Operator Symbol Example Result
And & one two
one & two
Finds records with both 'one' and 'two'.
Or | me | you Finds records with either 'me' or 'you'.
And not ^ her ^him Finds records that contain 'her' but do not contain 'him'. A search term and the not term must be used together.
Phrase " " "to be or not" Finds records with the exact phrase 'to be or not'.
Single character wildcard ? wr?te
Finds records with 'write', 'wrote', etc., or 'this', 'that', 'them', etc.
Multiple character wildcard * a*n
Finds records with 'an', 'addition', 'assign', etc., or 'work', 'works', 'working', etc.

Wild cards

The question mark (?) will represent any single character. The asterisk (*) will represent one or more characters, or the lack of a character at that location in the string. The * wildcard is especially helpful when you cannot find a strain or a descriptive term that you are confident is in the database. Using the wildcard before and after the word ensures that punctuation marks are not hindering your results.

Field searching

If you know the BEI Resources number, please enter it in the space provided in the field search section and all other fields will be ignored when searching. If you do not know the BEI Resources number, enter a word or words in one or more of the other fields. If you search on multiple fields, only those records that contain all of the queries will be found.

Strain Designations

Names and strain designations are sometimes difficult to search. They are often a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and BEI Resources tries to maintain the strain designations exactly as the depositors assigned. Some tips:

  • Use the wildcard (*) symbol if you are having trouble finding a strain, especially if you are confident that BEI Resources has the culture in question. For example, there are several cell lines that contain 3T3 in the designation. Searching on *3T3 or *3T3* will find the original cell line and all derived lines, allowing you to then review complete records to find the one you need.

  • Use the field searching instead of word searching. By scrolling down below the word search window, you can enter terms in the appropriate field. This will help narrow your search and reduce unintended hits.


This search is specially implemented for the SARS-CoV-2 items. The search results for this has a information block that shows Variant, Lineage and GISAIDID for each item. COA information is also shown for applicable items. The search has two new filters(facet) Lineage and Variant. The lineage allows you to do wildcard search.

  • Use a wildcard(*) if you are looking for a particular Lineage


Contact a technical service representative if you are having trouble with your search.

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