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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q. How do I integrate information in the digital library?

1. A. First see Quick Integration Guide. For other instructions, such as Boolean searches, see the questions and answers below.

2. Q. Are the search terms case sensitive?

2. A. Yes, see more information case sensitivity on the Quick Integration Guide page.

3. Q. How do I specify an integration query other than entering one word in the search box?

3. A. See integration strategies on Quick Integration Guide page.

4. Q. Does the search engine support Boolean logic queries?

4. A. Yes. The Boolean functionalities of this digital library allow you to integrate information by requiring, preferring and forbidding results with specific terms. For additional information with examples, see the Quick Integration Guide page.

5. Q. What is the reason for matching "all" or "any" terms in conjunction with the search criteria?

5. A. The relevant granules (see below) that are retrieved will match either "all" or "any" of the search terms.

6. Q. What happens if nothing is displayed when I hit the enter key on the integration engine?

6. A. Make sure that there are terms typed into the "criteria" box.

7. Q. When I search for "bear," why do I get treaties and agreements that have nothing to do with polar and other bears?

7. A. The word "bear" is a homonym where it has two meanings, but looks and sounds the same. The word "bear" is an animal but can also mean "to carry". Making your search terms more specific will allow you to avoid search results that you are not interested in. For example, enter the genus of bears (Ursus), the species name (Ursus maritimus), or the more specific common name (+polar +bear).

8. Q. Why does my query result only show years with plus (+) signs?

8. A. You must open each resulting hierarchy (see below) by clicking on the plus sign to reveal the policy documents and relevant granules (see below) that contain your search term(s).

9. Q. What are "granules"?

9. A. "Granules" are the self-contained content units of the international agreements that are defined by the inherent structure or patterns of the policy documents (e.g., Article, Appendix, Preface, Annex). The granules are automatically generated by the patented Digital Integration System (DigIn) from EvREsearch LTD (please see the About page). There are 8458 granules that were automatically generated from the 650 policy documents in this digital library (see the Digital Library Contents page).

10. Q. How is a granule defined for the purposes of policy analysis?

10. A. The granule is defined as the smallest self-contained policy unit within the international document (such as an article of a Treaty).

11. Q. What is the utility of showing results in an expandable-collapsible hierarchy?

11. A. The expandable-collapsible hierarchy is an effective approach to identify relationships within and between international agreements. The hierarchies are dynamically generated and objectively organized based on the inherent parent-child relationships between the international agreements and their underlying granules. For this digital library, the levels of the hierarchies are organized by year-of-signature, then by document names within each year, lastly revealing the Article, Annex or other units of these documents. This approach allows the user to uniquely view the just the relevant texts of the granules that apply to their query, within the context of their years and document titles. For additional information on the construction of the hierarchies, please refer to the Digital Integration System (DigIn) on the About page.

12. Q. How do I open a hierarchy?

12. A. Open a hierarchy by clicking on the plus (+) sign the the left of the different levels. You will first see the year, then the document and finally the granule (e.g., Article, Appendix, Preface, Annex).

13. Q. Why are results organized by year rather than by topics? My research would benefit from searches divided into topics such as fisheries, pollution, marine mammals, natural gas mining, shipping and transportation, and conservation. My students would like to view results by particular fishing gear.

13. Results are displayed by year because this is the only way to organize them in an objective manner that can be quantified. Many international environmental treaties refer to more than one topic, so some of the granules would be repeated under several topics. For example, with regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (document 0-0760-0905.htm), would this policy document be placed under the topic of fisheries, mining, shipping or conservation? The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea deals with all of these topics, which means that the relevant granules for your search query would be displayed multiple times under different topics. Since classification of topic categories is itself subjective, the topics also would not be appropriate for all users now and into the future.

14. Q. How do I view the text of the granule (see above)?

14. A. Click on the link at the lowest level of the hierarchy (see above). If a new window does not pop-up, your computer may block pop-up windows. To temporarily disable this block, hold the CONTROL button on the keyboard and click on the link of the granule again (see the Quick Integration Guide page).

15. Q. Can I view the text of a entire document once I have made a query?

15. A. Yes. Click on the link on the top or bottom within the granule text window that will take you to the entire document in html format.

16. Q. How do I close an opened document?

16. A. Check the box in the upper right corner.

17. Q. How is this digital library different than others that contain similar collections of international treaties and conventions?

17. A. Other environmental policy digital libraries generate ranked lists that hide relationships within and between policy documents for a given query. Moreover, the other digital libraries only provide access to the parent documents, which requires you to search sequentially through each policy document (one at a time) for the text that is relevant to your search query. In contrast, based on the Digital Integration System (DigIn) applications (please see the About page), this digital library dynamically generates expandable-collapsible hierarchies that comprehensively and objectively identify relevant relationships within and between the policy documents. Because these results are comprehensive, you are able to analyze the results quantitatively to interpret institutional overlaps and conceptual trends (e.g., ecosystem-based management strategies over time).

18. Q. What happens if I double click on one of the documents and it doesn't display on the screen?

18. A. Check the bottom tray of your computer screen and click on the appropriate search result so that it can be displayed. If the granule has not opened, you may have a pop-up blocker on your computer. Try holding the CONTROL bottom down on your keyboard at the same time you click on the link.

19. Q. Will the CD-ROM version of the digital library run on a Macintosh system?

19. A. No. The CD-ROM is compatible only with Windows-based operating systems with either Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox and other browsers already installed.

20. Q. Do I need to be connected to the internet to run the CD-ROM?

20. A. No. The CD-ROM will automatically install and run offline on Windows 32-bit operating systems with browsers that are already installed.

21. Q. Will the CD-ROM run with browsers other than Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox?

21. A. Yes. However, the full breadth of compatible browsers is unknown. In all cases, the browsers must be Java-enabled.

22 Q. How do I purchase copies of the CD-ROM version with all of the current contents and functionalities of this website or get answers to additional questions about this digital library?

22. A. Please contact Dr. Paul Berkman at paul@evresearch.com or berkman@bren.ucsb.edu.