New Query Language and FeaturesApril 17, 2017
We’re excited to announce the release of a significant new set of search features allowing you to find more documents of interest and to filter out documents not of interest. Previously we treated any input text query as just a series of terms (punctuation ignored, etc.) and matched any document that containing all of those terms. Now we support a complete Query Language with several specially interpreted operators and expressions. The linked page will remain the definitive reference, while I’ll elaborate and give some additional usage examples below.
This feature alone has been commonly requested and in fact, 6% of user saved searches already include a quoted phrase. Most of these searches are now more precise. A few may need to be broadened based on the results now returned.
There are many cases where company names or source-specific terminology (financial, legal, etc.) is composed of phrases of multiple words that can also appear individually with a much more common and less interesting meaning. For these cases, phrase search gives better results. As an example, compare results for the query Lands' End (without quotes) to "Lands' End".
Phrases can also improve person name searches. Note however that in the structured formatting of SEC filings, for example insiders forms 3-5, names are listed in surname-first order. The order of terms in phrases is significant, so for example: "Cook Timothy".
It’s now possible to broaden a search using the
OR operator to match
any of multiple alternative terms or phrases, or to narrow a search
NOT to eliminate documents matching other undesired terms or
phrases. See the detailed boolean operator descriptions and examples
in the Query Language.
Searching in Specific Federal Courts
We’ve had many users take advantage of searching for dockets at
specific federal courts since we
advertised that court codes were searchable
and provided a listing last year. This approach wasn’t completely
reliable however, so as part of the new query language, we’ve added a
COURT: scope allowing you to select one or even multiple courts.
See the updated list of available federal courts.
Your existing saved searches that used raw (as text) court codes have now been converted to the new syntax. The raw court code method and syntax continues to work, its just not as reliable.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
The SEC classifies companies by a primary industrial topic hierarchy
known as the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). We’ve added the
ability to select SEC documents based on the SIC group or code of the
filing company by using the
SIC: scope. Some users will find there
is a SIC group or code that closely relates to their area of interest.
This system was established in 1937 and can be challenging for certain
topics, for example involving recent technological progress. Its also
limited to public companies and only allows for one class per
company. Some examples:
|3571 Electronic Computers||Apple, Cray, Dell|
|7372 Services–Prepackaged Software||Microsoft, Salesforce, Ellie Mae|
|7370 Services–Computer Programming, Data Processing, Etc.||Google, Facebook, Red Hat|
|5961 Retail–Catalog and Mail-Order Houses||Amazon, CDW, Wayfair|
|5331 Retail–Variety Stores||Wal-Mart, Target, Fred’s|
See our complete Standard Industrial Classification list.
The SEC defines a variety of events which require a company to file form 8-K with an associated item. The new query language makes it possible to reliably select 8-Ks with the item’s listed and linked searches below.
- 1.01 Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement
- 1.02 Termination of a Material Definitive Agreement
- 1.03 Bankruptcy or Receivership
- 1.04 Mine Safety - Reporting of Shutdowns and Patterns of Violations
- 2.01 Completion of Acquisition or Disposition of Assets
- 2.02 Results of Operations and Financial Condition
- 2.03 Creation of a Direct Financial Obligation or an Obligation under an Off-Balance Sheet Arrangement of a Registrant
- 2.04 Triggering Events That Accelerate or Increase a Direct Financial Obligation or an Obligation under an Off-Balance Sheet Arrangement
- 2.05 Cost Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities
- 2.06 Material Impairments (rare)
- 3.01 Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard; Transfer of Listing
- 3.02 Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
- 3.03 Material Modifications to Rights of Security Holders
- 4.01 Changes in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant
- 4.02 Non-Reliance on Previously Issued Financial Statements or a Related Audit Report or Completed Interim Review
- 5.01 Changes in Control of Registrant
- 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers: Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers
- 5.03 Amendments to Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws; Change in Fiscal Year
- 5.04 Temporary Suspension of Trading Under Registrant’s Employee Benefit Plans (rare)
- 5.05 Amendments to the Registrant’s Code of Ethics, or Waiver of a Provision of the Code of Ethics
- 5.06 Change in Shell Company Status
- 5.07 Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders
- 5.08 Shareholder Nominations Pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 14a-11 (rare)
- 6.01 ABS Informational and Computational Material (rare)
- 6.02 Change of Servicer or Trustee (rare)
- 6.03 Change in Credit Enhancement or Other External Support (rare)
- 6.04 Failure to Make a Required Distribution (rare)
- 6.05 Securities Act Updating Disclosure (rare)
- 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure
- 8.01 Other Events (not available)
- 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits (too common)
Note that we display these items as part of the 8-K summaries in search results and detail pages, but for several items we use our own simplified title for brevity. For example item 5.02 is displayed as:
§ Departure/Appointment/Compensation of Officers/Directors
Searching for this as a phrase won’t work, because it is indexed only in the original form. Use the above linked query instead. These queries can also be combined with other SEC filters like a geographic location and/or a SIC or other text query terms.
As with all prior features and enhancements, this work was the result of your feedback. Please let us know how well (or not) these features are working for your needs, or if you would like to see other features or data sources!