How to use
The Amphibian Species of the World database has three primary searching tools that ARE NOT interoperable: 1) a BROWSE table (on the right) that allows users to click through the taxonomic hierarchy to the record(s) of interest; 2) GENERAL SEARCH box that functions much like Google but accepts Boolean search grammar (see below); and 3) a GUIDED SEARCH box that allows for specific parts of the taxon records to be searched and also allows both Boolean grammar in its searches as well as implied Boolean searches by employing multiple search boxes simultaneously within the GUIDED SEARCH tool. In addition, when you reach a taxon record, if you click on the underlined citation you will be provided a complete bibliographic citation.
1) BROWSE Table (on the right): Click through any name for the taxon record. At the bottom of each record will be listed subsidiary taxa that can also be clicked. All underlined author, date, and citation lines will take you to all other records with the same entry(s).
2) BASIC SEARCH (on the left): The "basic search" is similar to that employed by Google and allows all fields of all records to be searched using Boolean grammar. For instance inserting the statement "Lithobates AND pipiens NOT forreri" will return all records that contain such statements as "Lithobates pipiens group" in the comment section and all records that have "Lithobates pipiens" in the synonymy, but NOT "Lithobates forreri". You will find this search option to be extremely useful for searching on collection acronyms, and various word strings of interest. In the box below you can restrict the basic search within a specified taxonomic subset (e.g., Hylidae). This requires compliance with an autofill list that restricts to a currently recognized taxon.
3) Guided Search (on the left): The "guided search" also allows the use of Boolean grammer (e.g., AND, OR, NOT)
Taxon: Taxonomic names (e.g., Bufonidae or "Incilius nebulifer") or parts of taxonomic names (e.g., idae or nebulifer [minimum of three letters]) can be entered in this box and searched on. The database will return all records in which the active taxonomic name or synonym meets this criterion.
Search only within taxon (autocomplete list): Using the autocomplete list the user can restrict the results by the inclusive taxon. For instance, if one is interested in a list of all Hylidae within Costa Rica, the term "Hylidae" can be selected for this search box and the country "Costa Rica" selected from the pull-down menu under Country. In one sense, this "search" box is not so much a search term as a filter for results.
Author/Authority in synonymy: By entering the surname of an author all new scientific names or combinations associated with that author will be retrieved.
Year of publication in synonymy: By entering a year of publication all new names and new combinations published in that year will be retrieved.
Country/U.S. state: The sliding table allows the user to pick a specific country (e.g., Angola) or U.S. state (e.g., United States of America–Wyoming) and search on that term. All relevant records will be returned. The taxa listed in the reports do not necessarily conform to a list of countries from which carefully identified vouchers have been deposited in museums. The taxa listed conform, instead, to my (DRF) educated guess on what taxa are expected to occur within that national boundary.
Two search boxes have been lost from version 5.6 to 6. These are "Keywords in distribution" and "Keywords in comments", both of which can be queried in the Basic Search. Problems associated with the changes in this version will be corrected in the near future.