Search help

I am looking for something published quite recently. How can the search engine help me?
The first option is to do a search, you can choose to view only results from a specific year from the list on the left-hand side of the page.

A second option is to sort results by date, rather than by relevance. This will list the most recent search results first.

Sort by date

I am getting too many results. How can I be more specific?

After running a search you will see various filtering options - by category, language and year - on the left-hand side of the page. Clicking on one or more of these will restrict the displayed results to those that match. You can choose to have multiple filters in effect at the same time.

Filter by category, language and year

Also useful is the option to search only within the title of documents. Do this by ticking the "Search in title only" checkbox.

Search in title only

Most useful however are the options "Match any word", "Match all words" and "Match exact phrase". (See the next question for an example.)

Match any word, match all words, match exact phrase


How do these options for matching "any word", "all words" or the "exact phrase" work?

Assume you are looking for information about banking secrecy and have entered that into the search box.

If you choose "match any word", all documents containing either "banking" or "secrecy" will appear in your results. Of course, "banking" will appear in very many documents on this website, most of them with no coverage of issues related to secrecy, and you would be returned a very long list of results.

If you choose "match all words", your results will be more specific. All documents will contain the words "banking" and "secrecy" at some point within the text. It is possible however that a returned document will not actually discuss banking secrecy per se. For instance, the use of the word "secrecy" could be in the context of central bank communications.

However, by choosing "exact phrase", you ensure that all results include precisely this term. The words "banking" and "secrecy" must appear in this exact order.


What other tips are there for advanced users?

  • Use + to require and - to exclude words or phrases.
    • Example: +risk -credit
    • Effect: all results must contain the word "risk", but not have the word "credit" anywhere in the document.
  • Use wildcards.
    • Examples: mexic*  "south* africa*"
    • Effect: mexic* matches mexico, mexican. "south* africa*" matches south africa, south african, southern africa etc.
  • Use field searches for the title and url.
    • Examples: title:quarterly    url:bcbs*
    • Effect: "title:quarterly" means the word "quarterly" must appear in the document's title. "url:bcbs" means the text "bcbs" must appear in the document's web address (e.g.


Can I search for content in a specific language?

By default, searches are performed against all documents, regardless of language. However, you can filter results to display only English, French, German, Italian or Spanish material by choosing the desired language from the left-hand side of the screen.

I would like to run my search regularly and be advised of new additions that match the search query. Can I do this?

Yes. You can use RSS feeds to subscribe to updates to the site. This is a convenient tool for getting very rapid notification of new documents. To create such an RSS feed, perform a search on the website as you would normally. Then, on the left-hand side, click on the link to subscribe to the RSS feed for that search. You can create as many RSS search feeds as you like. If you are unfamiliar with RSS feeds, there are introductory guides available.

Alternatively, you can use the e-mail alert system. Click on 'register' and you will be able to configure your own profile as you prefer, including running a custom search query. You will then receive a regular email containing links to new documents matching your search. This is a free service.

Can I search the BIS website from my browser toolbar?
Yes. It is possible to search the BIS website from the toolbar. This means you can search the BIS website while browsing another website with a single click, provided you are using Firefox 2 (or higher) or Internet Explorer 7 (or higher). Detailed instructions for enabling BIS website search in the browser toolbar are available.

Are PDF documents searchable?

Yes, all HTML and PDF documents on the website can be searched.