Searching and retrieving exactly what you are looking for in any complex database can sometimes pose a challenge. Understanding the ASRS Program and ASRS data is a useful beginning in successfully finding and using ASRS data; if you are unfamiliar with ASRS and/or ASRS data, it may be valuable to review pertinent program information available on this ASRS web site, including the Program Briefing found under “Program Information.” You can also find information discussing the properties of ASRS data under the About ASRS Data found in the Database Online Resources area.
Next, take a few minutes to look at Search Strategies. There are some general recommendations for formulating successful search strategies, and specific information about employing Text Reserved Word Commands and Operating Characters for searching the Narrative and Synopsis textual fields.
Finally, the examples in Sample Searches can help you understand query formulation. For practice (and fun), you can also make slight modifications to the search strategy employed in these examples and compare results.