Link to USDA Home
  Link to CRIS Home Link to About CRIS Link to Search Menu Link to Reports Link to Help Link to Contact Us
Search CRIS
Link to Manual of Classification
Help Header

Things to Remember When Searching CRIS Files

New users, or those not experienced in searching the CRIS database by individual field codes, should use the "Assisted Search" interface as more help is available in this mode. Most of the following comments are directed toward users of this interface.

Searching CRIS through this web site is an interactive process between you, the searcher, and the database software. The following procedures will make your search more successful.

  • USE the Search Screen Buttons provided by the software during the session to navigate through the various screens, and NOT the BROWSER Buttons (across top of screen). Examples are the "Display Results", "Exit to Menu", "Exit to Home", and "Clear Form" buttons. Some "Help" screens may only have an "OK" or "Back" button, but these should also be used to return to the previous screen. To terminate your session, please use only the "Exit to Menu" or "Exit to Home" buttons.

  • BE PATIENT: our search engine is very fast but SOME THINGS STILL TAKE TIME. When you use the "Display Results", the "Change Format", or the "Display Selections" buttons on a large number of records, you MUST wait until your browser has formatted the display and indicated that the download is complete (usually by displaying "Done" at the bottom). If the document is still loading (as evidenced by the logo on your browser showing activity), pressing any other button will produce an abnormal display and may lock up your session. Be sure to wait for "Done"!

  • Later versions of the popular browsers seem to work best with the current database software, so you should upgrade your web browser if possible.

  • Searching Help

  • Use your mouse to position your cursor within selection boxes or text entry boxes. To make a simple selection, such as to make a choice in the "Project Type" listbox, position your cursor on your selection and press your left mouse button. You may choose more than one item in listboxes by holding down the "Ctrl" (or "Command") key. To enter text in an entry box, position your cursor within the box, click your left mouse button to activate the box, and then type in your search term(s) or word(s). It does not matter whether you enter text in upper, lower, or mixed case; the search software is case insensitive. Internal or trailing punctuation is sometimes required as part of the term you should enter. If you have questions on whether or not to enter punctuation, click on the active link near the box in which you are entering a term for help specific to that field. There is also a "Help" button for each of the sections.

  • Within any given box you may enter as much text as you want. The text will scroll horizontally if you fill the box. For boxes in which you enter text, you may enter more than one search term. A term can be a single word or a phrase. If you have more than one term in a single category, you must separate each term by a semicolon. The resulting search that will be executed will replace the semicolon with the Boolean "OR".

  • Full-Text Searching
    In the top three entry boxes, "Fulltext Terms", etc., you may enter whatever terms you choose to characterize the projects you wish to see. The text fields that are searched for your words or phrases are: Title, Objectives, Approach, Non-Technical Summary, Keywords, Progress, and Impact.

  • Searching by Fields
    The lower half of the search screen contains entry boxes corresponding to individual data fields or groups of fields in the CRIS database. You may wish to use only this section of the screen to search for projects by data in a specific field, e.g., State/Country, Project ID, Investigator, Project Type and Status, etc. Fill out as many boxes as you wish, then click on any of the "Search" buttons. You may decide to do a broad, full-text search on the top half of the screen, then go to the "Search CRIS by Individual Data Fields" boxes to refine your search by limiting the retrieval to one or more of the fields there. You may use as many or as few boxes on the whole screen as you need to get the results you want.

  • After you have filled in as many search boxes as needed, press any "Search" button. After a few seconds you will receive a "Records retrieved:" report indicating the number of projects which meet the search criteria. To look at your records, press one of the "Display Results" buttons. The records will be displayed in a short title format--10 records per screen. With the "Assisted" interface, the maximum number of records that can currently be displayed, printed, or downloaded in a single CRIS search is 500. This number may be set by you on the search screen. The 500-record maximum is an arbitrary number selected by the CRIS office to ensure that no single session will consume too many network resources and prevent access by others. If your search returns a number higher than 500 records, we suggest that you break the search into pieces, perhaps by adding one geographic Region at a time to your search strategy, thus reducing the number of records in each segment to under 500. There are several limit fields at the bottom of the search screen that might also be used for this purpose. There are no display limits for users of the "Professional" or "Pending Projects" interfaces.

    For assistance in selecting records for displaying, printing, or downloading, click the "Help" button on the "Display Search Results" screen.

    Last Modified 02/25/2022

    Link to USDA Home