How do I search?

Anna Weggel -

Updated 03/12/2013 TMK

Here are some related topics if you want to jump to anything specific:

1. Log into AIR.


3. Hit "search".

Interesting to note: When you perform a search, your results are displayed by default in order of relevance. The relevance is calculated based on the length of the content in the source record (for example, the number and length of responses) and the frequency of your search terms when compared against all other source records. The relevance ranking is not an exact science, and we expect to refine it over time as we get your feedback.

If you want to refine your search, follow these steps:

How do I refine a search?

Advanced Search:

If you want to start out with a more specific search and don't want to build your own equation in AIR's search box, follow these steps.




Here are some helpful searching techniques if you don't want to use Advanced Search:

Searches are case-insensitive (the case you use does not matter). health, Health, and HeAlTh all provide the same results.

Strings of words in a search are split on whitespace into terms (everything with spaces around it is a term). Unless a term is qualified with a boolean operator (see below), all terms have an implicit AND between them.

Double quotation marks group two or more terms to indicate exact phrases. Such as: "health care"

AIR recognizes two wildcard characters: * and ?. Wildcards indicate that any combination of letters could match. Examples: health* will match health and healthcare and healthy and hea?th will match health but it will also match hearth.

Search syntax supports the following special operators (what you enter in between terms) and their aliases (alternates that mean the same thing). All operators are case-insensitive. Some operators are sensitive to whitespace; check the examples for proper use.

If using AND and OR in the same search string, use parenthesis to give priority.  Example:  (state=MN OR state=TX)  AND gender=female. Another example:

(src_political_affiliation_id=("21") OR src_political_affiliation_id=("22")) AND src_created_date=(( 20111115..20111122 ).

Operator Aliases Description Example
AND +, & Term must match. health and care
health & care
+health +care
OR | Term may match. health or care
health | care
NOT -, ! Term must not match (same as AND NOT). health not care
NEARn "this that"~n Term must match within n terms of the following term. health near10 care
"health care"~10
"phrase term"   Terms within double quotes must appear exactly in that order (same as NEAR1). See Phrases. "health care"
(this that)   Parentheses may be used to group terms and change the evaluation order. health and (care or costs)
field=term : term must appear within field responses=health AND responses=(care OR costs)
field=NULL : Find all records where field is empty. first_name=NULL
*   Match zero or more characters. See Wildcards. heal*

If you want to filter your results after hitting search, follow these steps:

Go here to read full directions: How do I filter search results?

Filtering search results allows a user to narrow a search based on the selected filter criteria.  For example, you can search for sources with the term "economic recovery" and then filter based on political affiliations to create bins for Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc.

Alternatively, you can use Advanced Search to build a search that includes a filter.  This is better if you know all the filters you would want to use, but is less useful if you want to switch between groups.  This is because you would need to build a new advanced search instead of just ticking and un-ticking search criteria.

Note that when selecting multiple filters, the system only displays results that meet all of the filter criteria (i.e. it's joined by an AND, not an OR).

If you want to save your search terms, follow these steps:

Go here to read full directions: How do I save searches?

Note that a saved search is useful for saving a search you want to replicate.  The search results may change from time to time as new information is collected and updated in the PIN.

If you want to save an actual set of search results that will not change over time, creating a bin is a better option.

How do I view expanded search results?

Go here to read full directions:   How do I view expanded search results?

When viewing search results, a user is presented with search terms highlighted in their context.  A user can click on the source name to view the source profile page.  Alternatively, a user can click on the icon to preview the source contact details and submission excerpts.  This can save time for a user because it doesn't require leaving the search page.

Why are some search results hidden?

Go here to read full directions:   Why are some search results hidden?

What you can view in AIR2 is determined by your role and your organizational affiliation(s).   When you conduct a search you will see a certain number of search results, and another number of results in parentheses indicating hidden results.  This is intended to give you a sense of how broadly the term occurs, even if you cannot access all instances of the term.  

Hiding search results protects journalistic work product of newsrooms and the privacy of sources who have not indicated they desire a relationship with your organization.

Here is the list of Search Terms:


Source contact fields
Field to search on  Field name  Format/Notes
First Name first_name


Last Name last_name  
Alias - First Name alias_first  
Alias - Last Name alias_last  
Alias/alternate names alias  searches for matches in alias as first name and alias as last name
Contact fields (searches all associates with a source)
City city  
State state  
Zip code/Postal code zip  
Phone phone  
Email email  
Primary contact fields (searches only fields designated as primary)
Primary city primary_city  
Primary state primary_state  
Primary zip primary_zip  
Primary county primary_county  
Primary country primary_country  
Primary email primary_email  
Primary phone primary_phone  

Source demographics
Field to search on Field name Format/Notes
Birth year birth_year  yyyy Note: if you want a date range user a similar format as: (1980..1989)
Education education_level

Options are:

"No high school degree"

"High school degree / GED"

"Some college"

"Associate degree"

"Bachelor's degree"

"Master's degree"

"Doctoral degree"

"Professional degree"

ethnicity ethnicity  Searches for matches on source or Analyst entered value
gender gender  Searches for matches on source or Analyst entered value
ethnicity (analyst mapped) user_ethnicity  Searches only on the field of analyst mapped ethnicity
gender (analyst mapped) user_gender  Searches only on the field of analyst mapped gender
Language preference pref_lang

 Options are:

en_US - for English

es_US - for Spanish

 Profile (demographics, interests, experience) profile  Searches on all demographic, interests and experience fields
 Experience experience  This searches both the "what" and the "where" experience fields
 Experience - what experience_what  This searches only the "what" experience field
 Experience - where experience_where  This searches only the "where" experience field
 Household income household_income


Options are:

5 - Less than $15,000

6 - $15,000-$50,000

7 - $50,001-$100,000

8 - $100,001-$200,000

9 - more than $200,000

Interests interest

Searches the interest field

 Political affiliation  political_affiliation

Options are:









Religion religion

 Searches for matches on source or Analyst entered value


Field to search on  Field name  Format/Notes
 Responses/Submissions submission

This will search text submitted by sources in response to a query or manual submission

 Annotation annotation Searches annotations on sources and submissions
 Tag tag Searches tags on sources and submissions
 History /activity activity  This will allow you to search source activity log
 Source Account? src_has_acct  Y or N
 PINfluence outcome  searches for matches for PINFluence
 Primary organization newsroom  short or long name - sources who have selected this organization as their primary organization
 Organization org_name  source who have an explicit relationship with the organization (may be opted out if all sources)
 Status src_status

 Options are:




Last contacted date  last_contacted_date  yyyymmdd
Last response date  last_response  yyyymmdd
First response date  first_response  yyyymmdd
Last activity date  last_activity_date  yyyymmdd
Last queried date last_queried yyyymmdd
Last exported date last_exported_date yyyymmdd
Created created yyyymmdd
Modified modified yyyymmdd


Search terms in the same line are synonymous.  The items in bold will probably be the most easily remembered. 

  • src_first_name first_name
  • src_last_name last_name
  • src_created_date created created_date
  • src_modified_date modified updated modified_date
  • primary_city
  • primary_state
  • primary_country
  • primary_zip
  • primary_email
  • primary_phone 
  • primary_org_name 
  • primary_org_uuid
  • primary_org_name newsroom
  • last_response_date last_response last_responded last_responded_date
  • first_response_date first_response first_responded first_responded_date
  • last_queried_date last_queried
  • birth_year 
  • education_level 
  • ethnicity 
  • gender 
  • user_ethnicity 
  • user_gender 
  • smadd_city city
  • smadd_state state
  • smadd_cntry country
  • smadd_zip zip zipcode zip_code
  • sph_number phone phonenumber
  • sph_context phonetype phone_type
  • sem_email email
  • preferred_language pref_lang (e.g. es_US or en_US)
  • src_uuid uuid (e.g. 97dfbdede625)
  • annotation_text srcan_value
  • inq_uuid_title inq_uuid inq_title query (e.g. 68647de071c0)
  • qa response submission
  • vita
  • tag
  • sv_value experience_what job_title
  • sv_basis experience_where employer

Search Terms TBC:

  • valid_email
  • vita interest experience experience_start experience_end
  • org_uuid
  • so_org_id org_id
  • org_name orgid_status org_status org_status_date src_status source.authz
  • src_id src_uuid src_username src_last_name src_first_name src_pre_name src_post_name
  • user_education_level_id user_ethnicity_id user_gender_id user_household_income_id
  • src_education_level src_ethnicity src_gender src_household_income
  • src_education_level_id src_ethnicity_id src_gender_id src_household_income_id
  • lifecycle political_affiliation religion source_website timezone
  • user_political_affiliation src_political_affiliation user_religion src_religion
  • user_political_affiliation_id src_political_affiliation_id user_religion_id src_religion_id
  • tag qa modified_qa srs_id srs_uuid srs_date is_translated confidence referrer
  • sact_notes sact_desc activity_type_date
  • smadd_city smadd_state smadd_zip smadd_cntry sph_number sph_ext sph_context sem_email smadd_line_1 smadd_line_2
  • last_contacted_date last_response_date first_response_date last_activity_date last_queried_date last_exported_date
  • prj_name project
  •  inq_uuid_title prj_uuid prj_name inq_sent
  • user_household_income * 
  • household_income *
  • user_education_level * 
  • so_org_id
  • response_sets.count activities.count inquiries.count
Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk