Site Help

Here is where you can find general help using the KCResearch website. Contact one of our research experts by e-mail, phone, or chat.

Browse By Topic

If you are not sure where to start in your research, the Browse by Topic feature is a great place to begin.

You may access it by clicking on the Browse by Topic link in the top navigation bar.

On the Browse by Topic page there is a left-hand navigation menu featuring the following categories in orange type:

  • Business and Economics
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Health
  • Land Use and Urban Planning
  • Crime and Law Enforcement
  • Community Life
  • Demographics/Statistics

Underneath these orange categories are lists of topics in blue linked text. If you click on one of these, you will get a list of all the resources KCResearch has about that topic.

The list of resources may be narrowed down further by clicking on more blue hyperlinks on the left-hand navigation menu, called facets. The number in the parentheses after each hyperlink indicates the number of resources in KCResearch on that specific facet.

At any time you may eliminate a facet by clicking the blue minus in parentheses (-) next to the facet on the left-hand side, or the facet links listed under “Current Search” at the top of the page of search results.


You can search using any of the search boxes on KCResearch, it will perform a general search of all of our articles and studies. This means that the terms you enter to be searched will be matched on all resource records containing the words you enter. The search engine will look under all search fields--title, author, topic, neighborhood, city/town, county, and state—for the words you enter.

To search the database, enter words or phrases on the topic you are researching and then click on the blue “Search” button once. You will get a list of all of the resources KCResearch has that includes some of your search words.

If your search returns no results, go back and double check your spelling or look for typos or other errors that may have occurred when typing in terms. You can also think of synonyms for your search terms and try using those words or try the Browse by Topic feature.

Tips for expert searchers and librarians:

Stop Words
The KCResearch search engine ignores certain words that, while often occurring in the English language, do not add value to a search when entered in lowercase.

"a", "and" , "are" , "as" , "at" , "be" , "but" , "by" , "for" , "if" , "in" , "into",
"is" ,"it" ,"no" , "not" , "of" , "on" , "or" , "such", "the" , "to" , "was"

Note that some of these words, when entered in all uppercase capital letters, are very valuable search words and apply when using Boolean Searching, which is explained on the next page.

Phrase Searching
To search using multiple words as a phrase, put quotation marks (") around the phrase. The quotation marks will limit the engine to search for the exact phrase contained in the quotation marks in the specified word order.

Exact Word Match
In order to search for the exact word (not truncated or stemmed) in a search, place a plus sign (+) before the word requiring an exact match. Exact word searches may also be paired with other words that may show up in search results, but would not be matched exactly since it does not have a plus sign before the word.

Eliminate Items with Unwanted Words
To eliminate certain words from a search result, place a minus (-) before the word you want to be eliminated from the search. Alternatively, you may also use the word, NOT. In this instance, the word NOT must be entirely capitalized. This can limit your search to eliminate unwanted hits. For instance, in the search training -cat or you will get items containing the word "training", except those that also contain the word "cat".

Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is a method of searching using specific words called operators that instruct the search engine how to retrieve results. When using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) please note that they MUST BE CAPITALIZED!

AND - to limit searches to find items containing all words or phrases combined with this operator, for instance cats AND dogs will retrieve all items that contain BOTH the words "cats" and "dogs".

OR - to enlarge searches to find items containing any of the words or phrases surrounding this operator will retrieve all items that contain EITHER of the words entered in the search field.

NOT - to exclude items containing the word following this operator, NOT cat will retrieve all items that contain the word "training" EXCEPT those also containing the word "cat".

Parentheses can be used in the search query to group search terms into sets, and operators can then be applied to the whole set, e.g.(cats OR dogs) AND (training OR discipline)

Advanced Search

Advanced search is a more specific way of searching. With the advanced search, you may limit the engine to search only certain fields such as title, author, topic, neighborhood, city/town, county, or state. Additionally, with advanced search, you may also select how much of the search phrase you want the server to return. Multiple phrases may be used when conducting an advanced search. Results may be limited to a specific range of dates as well as only peer-reviewed resources. If you wish to broaden the results, you may search the full text of resources that have available, searchable, full texts.

To access the Advanced Search feature from any page on KCResearch, click once on the “Search” link in the top navigation bar.
The link will direct you to the Advanced Search page, which has three search boxes and two drop-down menus on either side of the search boxes.

The drop-down menu on the left-hand side gives three search options:

  • All of the words will search for all of the words in the search box in any order. In a Boolean search, this option is similar to using "AND". Do not include "AND" with your search terms. The Boolean operator "AND" is used automatically with the “All of the words” option and will be ignored if it is entered as a search term.
  • Some of the words will search for any of the words in the search box, but not necessarily within the same resource. The results may return resources relating to any of the terms entered. In a Boolean search, this option is similar to using "OR". Do not include "OR" with your search terms. The Boolean operator "OR" is used automatically with the “Some of the words” words option and will be ignored if it is entered as a search term.
  • The phrase will search for all of the words in the exact order entered. This is similar to using quotation marks in other search engines.

The drop-down menu on the right-hand side gives eight search options; these are specific fields the search engine will look for results in:

  • Anywhere searches in any field for the text inside the search box. It is similar to performing a basic, keyword search.
  • Title will only search for the terms inside the search box in the titles of resources.
  • Author will only search for the terms inside the search box in the authors of resources.
  • Topic searches for the words entered in the search box in terms of what topics a resource relates to. If you are looking for a specific topic, this is a good search option, rather than browsing through all the topics offered on the KCResearch “Browse by topic” feature.
  • Neighborhood searches for resources pertaining to the Kansas City area neighborhood entered in the search box.
  • City/Town searches for resources concerning the name of the city or town entered in the search box. For instance, if you wish to find resources about Olathe, you would enter “Olathe” in the search box.
  • County searches for resources about a certain county in the area. You must specify one of the following counties, which are considered our coverage area: Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson, Cass, Miami, Johnson (Ks.), Wyandotte, and Leavenworth.
  • State searches for resources pertaining to the specified state. In most cases, only Missouri and Kansas will return results.

You may find that your search will require you to use only one search box, but it may also require two or three search box fields to be filled out.

If you wish to search for one word or phrase in a title, you would enter the words you wish to search for in the box, then select “title” from the right-hand drop box, and on the left-hand drop box select “all of the words” and click once on the gray search button. Your search will return resources with the words you entered, but not necessarily in the order you entered them.

If you wish to limit your search to an exact phrase, select “the phrase” from the left-hand drop box.

If you wish to search for some of the words, select “some of the words” from the drop box on the left-hand side of the search box(es).

To search for multiple phrases or words, enter them in separate search boxes and then select which fields (title, author, topic, neighborhood, city/town, county, state) from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the search boxes.

Searching using multiple phrases is helpful if, for example, you are searching for a specific article and you knew the author’s name and some of the words in the title. To conduct this search, you would enter the author’s name in the first search box, then select “author” from the right-hand drop-box then you would enter the words from the title you remember in the second search box, select “title” from the right-hand drop box, then select “some of the words” from the left-hand drop box. After you have done this, click the gray “Search” button once.

To limit the date range of search results, you may use the two boxes with “YYYY” in them underneath the three search boxes. Enter a full, four-digit year (1999, 2002, etc) in the left box. This year will be the oldest date you want your search to return. Enter another full, four-digit year in the right box for the newest date you want your search to return. Search results will return results published from the year on the left through the year on the right.

If you need your search to return works that have only been peer reviewed, you may also check the box next to “peer reviewed only” by clicking the square once to limit the search. Peer reviewed works are often of a scholarly nature, edited and reviewed by professionals in a given field to ensure quality.

By checking the box next to “Search fulltext if available” the search engine will look in documents for the search terms you entered. Only some resources on KCResearch can be fulltext searched.

Advanced search also allows you to use the effective searching tips discussed above in the SEARCH section.

On the Advanced search page, you will find that you also have the option to browse by subject or conduct a basic search on the left-hand navigation menu.

Viewing Results

After you click search, either from the basic search or from the advanced search forms, the server will direct you to a page listing results. These results are the documents that the database has pulled up for you, matching your search terms.

Search results are also produced after clicking one of the blue hyperlinks when browsing by topic.

Resources are automatically ranked by relevancy, or how accurate the document is to the search terms you entered or the subject you are browsing. However, resources may also be sorted in several other ways:

  • Title sorts results in alphabetical order according to the title.
  • Type sorts results by what type of resource it is, grouping together maps, articles, reports, etc.
  • Author sorts results in alphabetical order by the author of the resource.
  • Date sorts the results by listing the most recently published resources first.
  • To sort search results in any of the following ways, click once on the desired sort function on the left-hand navigation menu.

Search/Browse results may also be narrowed down in several ways, as displayed in the left-hand navigation menu. There are four general ways to narrow a search:

  • Topic narrows down a search based on specific categories that describe the content of the resources.
  • Resource Type narrows down a search to a specific type of resource like maps, articles, reports, etc.
  • Geographic Coverage narrows down a search for resources that pertain to a certain geographic area. Areas may be as specific as certain neighborhoods, cities/towns or broader localities like counties and states. As mentioned in the Advanced Search help, the geographic coverage region consists of towns and neighborhoods within Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson, Cass, Miami, Johnson (Ks.), Wyandotte, and Leavenworth counties in the Kansas City Metropolitan region.
  • Format narrows down a search based on the file format such as PDF, JPEG, DOC, HTML/Text, etc.

The blue hyperlinks listed underneath each way of narrowing a search are called facets. Facets may be combined, but also taken away by clicking the minus inside the parentheses (-) next to the facet on the left-hand side of your search results or underneath the “Current Search” heading at the top of your results page.

Each resource is listed with a generic icon on the left-hand side that indicates the file format for the item. The title is a blue hyperlink that when clicked on will take you to the page for the item. Above each title is a download link in orange text. You may also download the resource from the item page, if allowed.

Viewing Items

To view an item page from the search results page, click the title, which should be a blue hyperlink text.
A new page will display, providing a detailed record for the chosen item. The title will display first, and if available, the first page of the document. Underneath the picture, in a gray box are an icon and the text “Download Resource.” Clicking on the text will download the item.

Your browser might open the document (especially if it is a PDF) in another tab or window. You may download it from the in-browser viewer by clicking the “save” icon, which is a small floppy disc in the upper left-hand corner. By saving it, the resource will be stored on your computer’s hard drive, so that you may access it at your leisure without searching or browsing through KCResearch again.

If your browser does not do this, a window asking you to download (either open the file or save the file) should pop-up, and your computer will download the file to your computer either way.

Due to copyright restrictions and permissions, not all resources on KCResearch may be downloaded. However, for these resources KCResearch provides a link to the resource or to the website of the organization or person that authored the resource. The link to view sources that appear on websites may be accessed by clicking once on the blue link text that says “Click here to view document.”


KCResearch wants to encourage researchers to engage in conversation and communication about the resources and issues we feature on the site and in the database. On the page for each resource there is an opportunity to discuss the item through commenting.

We recommend using a subject (title) for a comment post, but it is not required. In the comment field enter your thoughts, and please be mindful and respectful of others when posting comments.

In the comment field, all URLs and e-mail addresses automatically become hyperlinks. You may also format your post using markdown syntax and markdown extras. Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

In order for comments to be approved, you must enter the captcha, which is a specialized code used by many websites to prevent automated spam postings. You may opt to listen to the captcha by clicking the speaker icon in the black captcha box, or generate a new one if you experience difficulty reading it by clicking the oval made of two arrows.

Topic Guides and User Guides


Topic Guides highlight resources on topics such as Business and Economics, Education, Land Use and Planning, Law Enforcement, and the Environment by offering questions that the resources provided in each topic guide will answer.
Topic Guides can be further broken down into sub-categories that contain more specific resources.
Most of the Topic Guides link to other websites with more detailed information and resources on a topic. The links will direct you to other resources, which will open up a new tab or browser window or ask you to download the resource if it is a downloadable file.


User guides are a way of helping out researchers with information that may not necessarily be research about Kansas City, but will help build stronger communities by enabling researchers to achieve specific goals.

KCResearch includes User Guides with access to information regarding local grants, new entrepreneurship, and useful

Submitting Research

If you find something that is not yet on KCResearch and you think it would make an appropriate addition to our database, please submit it for consideration.

By clicking the “Submit Research” link on the top navigation bar, you will find a form to fill out to submit a work for consideration.

We prefer that you fill out all fields so that we can properly catalog and index the resource in our database. But the required fields are your name, your e-mail address, and the resource itself, which must be uploaded. It is also recommended that you provide a title for the resource, a brief description of the resource, any groups or individuals that sponsored the research, if it has been published elsewhere, and if you are the owner of the copyright.

If you are not the owner of the copyright, please provide information—if known—about who does for us in the “Description” field.

When you have filled out all the necessary fields, click the submit button at the bottom once.

Content submitted to KCResearch is not automatically added to the repository. It is first reviewed by a librarian to ensure that it is appropriate for the collection. If selected, additional keywords are added to make it easier to find and then it is uploaded to the repository. For questions on this process, please email .


If you would like to know when new resources enter the repository you may subscribe to an RSS feed, which will update every time we add a new resource.

To subscribe to new resources click the “Subscribe” icon and it will take you to a page where you must select how you wish to track the RSS feed. Some browsers, like Mozilla Firefox, allow for live bookmarks, which lists new resources as a button underneath the address bar of the browser window. You may also opt to subscribe through Yahoo!, Google Reader, Google Homepage, Bloglines or another application you may have for keeping track of RSS feeds.

You may also click the orange RSS button (the little square with radiating arcs) at the bottom of any page on KCResarch to subscribe to the New Items feed.