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Resources: For Researchers

These resources provide search tips on how to locate GAO products on our website, information on using the data and images contained in our products, and suggestions for additional sources of information.

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What Gets Searched?

All of GAO's publications and web pages are searched, including reports, testimonies, legal decisions, bid protests, and content on GAO's website. Search returns results based on matches in information about products, including title, summary, and topics, as well as in the full text of PDF files and web pages. Handwritten and image-based documents are not fully searchable.

How to Navigate our Search

  • Enter a keyword or phrase in the Search box, and click the "Search" button.
  • Use the dropdown menus to change the sort order or the number of results per page.
  • Use the options on the left to Show Results for Reports & Testimonies, Legal, or Other Sources, or Refine by Date, Topic, or Agency.
  • Narrow further with context sensitive subcategories. Basic Search Definitions

Auto Suggest

Suggested terms appear below the search box as you type. You can pick one of them or keep typing.

Did you mean?

Interprets your original query to improve search results.

Have some keywords or a topic area?

Type the terms in the box, and click "Search."
Use quotes for a phrase, for example, "aviation security"
Use advanced search to automatically build more complex queries or use Boolean Operators yourself (see below)

Have a report number?

Enter it in the Search box. Include leading and following letters if you know them. For example, you can enter GAO-07-370T, gao-06-729g, nsiad-00-211, or B-208730.

Want to sort results?

Run your search first, then...
Pick a sort option from the dropdown. Example: "Sort by: Date new->old".

Want to see more results?

Run your search first, then...
Choose results per page: 10, 25 or 50.

Want to see just web pages?

Show Results for > Other > Resource

Want to use Boolean Operators?

The BASIC search, by default, looks for items that match every term you include in the search box.

Use Boolean operators to specify terms to be combined through logic operators. The search supports AND, OR and NOT as Boolean operators (Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS). It also supports "+" (must include) and "-" (must not include). Advanced Search Definitions

Use up to 10 Search Criteria

Add criteria with the "Add line" link near the bottom of the search. This is how you create more complex search strategies similar to constructing searches using the Boolean AND, OR and NOT operators.

Remove criteria with the "X" beside each row.

The maximum number of rows is 10.


Choose "Must INCLUDE" to require the search terms that have been entered in the row. (This works like the "+" operator.)

Choose "Must NOT Include" to ensure the words in the row do not appear in the search results. (This works like the "-" operator.)

Choose "May include" to increase the likelihood that a term is returned without requiring it.

Some words, all words or this exact phrase

Choose "All of these words" to require that all the words in the row are returned in the search results (without requiring that they be in order or next to each other). This works like the Boolean AND operator.

Choose "Any of these words" to require that at least one of the words in the row appear. This works like the Boolean OR operator.

Choose "This exact phrase" to require that all of the words appear next to each other in the order given. You do not need to put the phrase in quotes.


Each search line can be limited to a particular field (title, summary, full text, or report number) with the "in this field" dropdown menu.

Date filtering

Select a date range in the "Narrow by date" dropdown menus to filter by date. This limits the search by the date of the original document, which could be earlier than the date that the document was published to the website.


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