The Northern Ireland Official Publication Archive (NIOPA) is made available on the DSpace platform. More information about NIOPA is available in the About Us section.


The Browse function can be accessed from the Home page or using the drop down menu at the top of the page. It allows you to go through a list of items in some specified order:

Browse by Author allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all corporate, department, agency, person authors etc.

Browse by Title allows you to move through an alphabetical list of all publication titles in the Archive.

Browse by Publication Type allows you to select documents according to their type i.e consultation, code of practice, guidance document, report etc..

Browse by Keyword allows you to move through an alphabetical list of keywords assigned to each publication.

Browse by selecting the name of one of the official organisations in order


To search all of NIOPA, use the general keyword search box at the top of the page or the search box in the middle of the home page

NIOPA is searched uses Discovery(based on Apache Solr)search engine. Here are some search hints:

What is searched in the general keyword search (search box at the top of the screen)
The word(s) you enter in the search box will be searched against the title, author, keywords, series and identifier fields of each item's record.

What is not searched - Stop Words
The search engine ignores certain words that occur frequently in English, but do not add value to the search. These are:

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

Use an asterisk (*) after a word stem to get all hits having words starting with that root, for example:

organis* will organise, organisation, organisational

The search engine automatically expands words with common endings to include plurals, past tenses ...etc.

Phrase Searching
To search using multiple words as a phrase, put quotation marks (") around the phrase, for example:

"Human Rights"

Exact word match
Put a plus (+) sign before a word if it MUST appear in the search result. For instance, in the following search the word commission is optional, but the word +quality must be in the result.

+equality commission

Eliminate items with unwanted words
Put a minus (-) sign before a word if it should not appear in the search results. Alternatively, you can use NOT. This can limit your search to eliminate unwanted hits. For instance, in the search

education –funding or education NOT funding

you will get items containing the word education, without those that also contain the word funding.

Boolean searching
The following Boolean operators can be used to combine terms. Note that they must be CAPITALISED!

AND - to limit searches to find items containing all words or phrases combined with this operator, e.g.

sheep AND goats will retrieve all items that contain BOTH the words sheep and goats.

OR - to enlarge searches to find items containing any of the words or phrases surrounding this operator

sheep OR goats will retrieve all items that contain EITHER the words sheep or goats.

NOT - to exclude items containing the word following this operator, e.g.

sheep NOT goats will retrieve all items that contain the word sheep EXCEPT those also containing the word goats.

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.(sheep OR goats) OR (regulation OR act)


The advanced search page allows you to specify the fields you wish to search, and to combine these searches with the Boolean "AND", "OR" or "NOT".

You can restrict your search to a category of official organisations community by clicking on the arrow to the right of the top box. If you want your search to encompass all of the Archive, leave that box in the default position.

Then select the field to search in the left hand column and enter the word or phrase you are searching in the right hand column. You can select the Boolean operator to combine searches by clicking on the arrow to the right of the "AND" box.

Note: You must use the input boxes in order. If you leave the first one blank your search will not work.


NIOPA uses controlled vocabulary or subject headings to describe publications using both OCLC FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) headings and custom terms.