How to search for a name


When most people run a search in a document database, they use a proximity search, looking for a first name within 2 or 3 words of their last name. For example, using dtSearch on might structure a search like this:

john w/3 smith

Searching for someone's last name may work if it's an unusual surname, but running a general search for a name like Smith will return many false positives that will have to be sifted through. The proximity search will exclude documents where the person in question is only referred to by their last name. What if there is an email in which someone says, "It was that damn Smith who masterminded the fraud!". You wouldn't want to miss that message.

A good approach is to go through search results and find what other individuals (or objects) share the same name as the person who your search is focused on.

In a Relativity dtSearch like this, you can use the NOT operator before the 'w/' proximity operator to search for a last name when it does not appear near certain first names.

This search will find a document like this one, which happens to mention a John Smith, but more importantly refers to the Connie Smith that is the subject of the search. Documents which only refer to John Smith will be excluded from the results.



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