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Search Tips for Using the Cornell Electronic Directory

Search tips to help you find results quickly in the Cornell Electronic Directory

This article applies to: Alumni and Visitors , Faculty , Staff , Students

Finding someone in the Cornell Electronic Directory is very easy, since the search includes not only the name fields in the database, but department, nickname, NetID, and campus phone number as well. This means that as long as you know something about the person you're looking for, you will probably find him or her. The flip side of this is that it is possible to get hundreds of entries returned if your search is not specific enough. The following tips should help you quickly find the entry you're looking for.

Type in uppercase or lowercase letters. It doesn't matter.

The easiest way (and one of the fastest) to search for a person is by typing in the first few letters of their first name, a space, and the first few letters of their last name. For example "wil tra" will find William Q. Trazenstein.

The more specific you are, the shorter the list of search results will be. If your search returns only one match, you will be taken directly to the full listing for that match. If your search returns multiple matches, you will see a list of matches. You then get to the detailed listing for the one you want by clicking on the NetID.

  • If you enter a series of letters followed by a number, only the NetID field is searched.
  • If what you enter contains a "@", then only the e-mail address fields are searched.
  • If what you enter is all numeric, the phone number fields are searched.
  • If you enter two sets of characters (for example, "wil tra"), it will try to match them both against the name and department fields.
  • An asterisk (*) acts as a wildcard, representing one or more characters in a search where you enter a single string of characters. Examples:

You enter

What you get includes
micr*imm anyone who works in any department with a name like "Microbiology and Immunology" or "Micromolecular Immunology"
ewe* Anyone whose NetID begins with "ewe", plus anyone with the letters "ewe" contained anywhere in their name, nickname, or department

The wildcard is useful in the first example, but if used as shown in the second example, will often result in extremely long searches.

Note: search results will be sorted:  
  1. people first (alphabetized by last name only)
  2. mailing lists
  3. special mailboxes


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