Docuseek2 provides a wide range of search options.


New!: We now have a search widget for doing keyword searches of Docuseek2 from anywhere on your website. See the Promoting your licenses page for more.


Titles A to Z

If you know the title of the film you are looking for, the Titles A to Z listing provides an easy way to find tables. Click the Titles A to Z link that appears in the menu bar at the top and bottom of most pages.

Keyword searches

Use the search box at the top right of most pages to
keyword_search.png
The keyword search box
to execute a keyword search. Type the term you want to search for into the box, and click the search button search_button.png to execute your search. See the Tips for keyword searches section below for more details on keyword searches.
Tip: To see the entire Docuseek2 collection, leave the keyword field empty when you execute your search.

Subject searches

Click on a subject in the subject tree to execute a search by distributor-identified subject. Any other selected criteria will be combined with the subject search. A search of a subject with sub-categories will return all titles tagged with that subject category as well as all sub-categories. To understand the structure of the subject tree, check out this map of the subject headings.

Tip: By default, Docuseek2 shows search results in chunks, with five titles per page. You may also view all of the results on one page by clicking the Show results on one page checkbox. To make this your default setting, visit the My Account page and update your default settings.

Advanced Search



Docuseek2 provides advanced search capabilities for more targeted searches than subject or key word searches can provide. Click the Advanced Search link to the right of keyword search box at the top of most pages to open the Advanced Search page. The following advanced search options are available:

  • Show only titles available for streaming - The Docuseek2 database includes titles that may not be available for streaming. Check this checkbox if you want to restrict your search to only titles that may be streamed. You can set a default value for this on the My Accounts page.
  • Search My Movies only - Check this if you want to restrict your search to only titles that you have licensed.
  • Search movies I do not have a license to view - This does the opposite of the previous option. Movies that you have already licenses will be omitted from the search results.
  • Keywords - Enter search keywords. This field does the same thing as the keyword search box at the top of the page (see above). See the Tips for keyword searches section below for more details on keyword searches.
  • Tags - Enter tags, separated by spaces. DS2 stores multiple-word tags with the spaces replaced by underscores. For example, the tag "global warming" is stored as "global_warming" and this should be used when searching for tags. Multiple tags may be combined with "AND" or "OR". "AND" means all tags must be present for a title to be selected (it narrows your search). "OR" means that any tag may be present for a title to be selected (it widens your search).
  • Title- You may search for titles in one of three ways. Select a method from the popup menu. Title searches are not case-sensitve. Title searches however do respect punctuation. For example, searching for "post carbon" will yield different results than searching for "post-carbon".
    • The default method is Starts with. The search engine will select all titles that start with the word or phrase that you enter.
    • Select Contains to find all titles that contain the word or phrase that you enter.
    • Select Is to exactly match the text you enter for a title.
    • Select Sounds like to apply a "sounds like" function to your text. This option may get around not knowing the exact spelling of a title. Or if you can't spell. Tip: The search works from the beginning of the title so try entering what the first words of the title sounds like.
  • Genre - Select a genre to search for. Most of the titles on Docuseek2 are documentaries.
  • Credits contain - Enter text to look for within the film credits (e.g. producer's or director's name). The search is not case-sensitive.
  • Awards contain - Enter the name of an award to search for.
  • Length - Enter a range of minutes of length of a film.
  • Year is between - Enter a range of years of a film's release.
  • Grade level - Check the boxes next to the grade level boxes to restrict your search to specific grade levels.
  • Miscellaneous- Check the boxes next to restrict your search to miscellaneous characteristics of films.
    • Closed captioned - Is closed captioning available for the title?
    • Transcript available - Is a transcript of the film available?
    • Study guide available - Is a study guide available for the title?
    • Interactive Transcript available - Is an Interactive Transcript available?
    • Collections only - List only film collections. The Collections link on the menu bar towards the top of each page will show all collections.
    • Subtitled - Is the film subtitled? Usually these will be films or videos with foreign language dialog or narration, subtitled in English.
  • Availability - Some titles in the Docuseek2 database have restrictions on where a film may be streamed. Select a country from the dropdown menu, leave blank for all titles. Note that all titles on Docuseek2 are available for streaming in the U.S., so selecting U.S. will not restrict your search. If you are affiliated with a Canadian institution, select Canada to see what Docuseek2 titles are available for streaming in Canada.
  • Film source - Titles in the Docuseek2 come from different distributors. To restrict your search to films from particular distributors, check the respective checkbox.

Press the Find Titles button to execute your search.
Press the Clear Search button to clear any criteria you have entered and restore the options to their default values. Any text fields will be cleared. The "Show only titles available for streaming" and "Search 'My Movies' only" at the top of the page are set to the default values you have set via the My Account page. The distributor checkboxes are set (all checked). The other checkboxes are cleared. Film year is set to the range 1900 to 2099. Length is set to the range 0 to 999 minutes.

Combining criteria

Each criteria you select from each category is added to the already selected criteria. As you select more criteria, your search becomes more specific and reduces the number of titles found. For example, if a title is specified, and a subject, both criteria must be true for the film to appear in the search results.

The Miscellaneous criteria are also combined in such a way as to narrow your search.

Within the grade levels group and the film source group, any of the items may be true for a video to be selected. For example, if you check the college-level checkbox and the adult-level checkbox, if either one of those criteria are specified for a video, it will be selected by your search.

If your search does not return any results...

  • In most cases, using only keywords will give you the best results.
  • If you are searching for a particular title, try leaving the title area empty, and search for keywords instead.
  • But: keyword searches are scored for relevance, and must meet a threshold to appear in the search results.
  • Use the subject list to browse for broad categories of videos.
  • If you are looking for Hollywood/Bollywood-type films, you won't find them here. Docuseek allows you to search the collections of leading documentary and social issue film distributors.
  • Double-check the spelling of the keywords.
  • Make sure search criteria from a previous search are not muddling your search. Click the Clear button on the Advanced Search page to clear your existing search criteria.


Tips for keyword searches

  • Keyword searches use the MySQL "natural language query" ability. Keyword searches look for words in short and long descriptions, the list of subjects identified by the distributor, and distributor identified keywords.
  • Keyword searches do not use boolean operators (like AND or OR) or wildcards. The database engine uses different algorithms for ranking keyword search results. The ranking "relevance score" is displayed with search results if a keyword is included in the search.
  • The relevance score must meet a certain threshold (currently at 0.1) to show up in the search results.
  • First, if a word appears in more that half of the database, then the keyword is ignored.
  • For more technical details on MySQL's natural language queries, see Natural Language Full-Text Searches.

Tip: Since most of the videos included in the Docuseek2 database are documentaries or other works appropriate for the classroom and education in general, you don't need to include terms like "film", "video", "documentary" or "educational" in the keywords.