Australian Access Federation

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Searching & General Use

Help on general use of the website including login, search, access to content and file types.


How to Login

Australian Access Federation (AAF) Login

The Australian National Corpus has been configured to use an Australian Access Federation (AAF) Login. The AAF provides a framework and support infrastructure to facilitate trusted electronic communications and collaboration within and between universities and research institutions in Australia and overseas. This provides seamless access to resources and secure communication by removing most of the roadblocks to collaboration and sharing at both the institutional and end user levels.

How it works

The AusNC (Australian National Corpus) supports a single sign-on service enabled by the AAF for trusted users. The process is for a user's institutional login credentials to be validated by the institution. The AusNC is then notified of the user's authentication. Specific user attributes, such as name, identifier and affiliation, will be supplied to the AusNC by the institution. Authorisation processes are then enacted, such as determining the level of access rights and permissions to the AusNC, based on the user's role.
As a result of implementing this authentication for login, you are able to login to this website if you have credentials for any of the subscribers listed on the AAF website here -

With AAF credentials, you can login by clicking the “Academic Login” button on the top right-hand side of the home page., or you can go here: LOGIN. It’s important to login before each session as users who are not logged in do not have access to the entire collection. For further information, see What do the different access rights mean?, below.

How to Search

Search Basics

To be able to perform an accurate search, you must take the following points into account:

  • Only one term can be entered into the keyword search, and whatever you enter into this field will be treated as a single term.
  • You must have a keyword and at least one Collection selected to be able to run a search.
  • The search functionality only searches text files. Every original file has a text version created at upload.
  • Your Keywords in Context (KWIC) search results will be displayed in a sortable table. To sort the table select an underlined column header and a triangle will appear pointing in the direction of the sort. Click the triangle again to reverse the sort order.
  • The more Collections that are selected, and the more complicated your search, the more time it will take for the system to search for and return your results.

Searching the AusNC

Basic Search

The Basic Search includes both search types (KWIC & Frequency) and is accessible from the website's homepage and when browsing individual Collections. You must select at least one Collection to be able to perform your search from the AusNC homepage.

Full Search Interface

The full search interface is available on the search page of the website. It includes all the features of a basic search, while also allowing you to access the 'Advanced Search Options'.
The Advanced Search Options allow you to filter your search results on Genre Type (e.g. Letter, Report, Oratory, Verse) and Participant Gender (e.g. male, female, family).

The Australian National Corpus allows you to filter your Keyword search by Keyword in Context (KWIC) or Frequency.


Enter the keyword you wish to search for, then select either the KWIC or Frequency options.

Keywords in Context (KWIC)

The result of the KWIC search displays your keyword with Range number of words on either side for context. For example, if you were to search for the keyword 'mate' using KWIC and a Range of 10, you may get results like:

  • ...had gone home he said he had it from a mate who came up from Melbourne and who said that he...
  • ...Foreign Fathers did in Early Days Out Back As a mate can do no mean thing in the bushman's creed...
  • ...I goes towards the station again all alone for my mate couldn’t walk at all an I hadn’t got...

You can use some Regular Expressions for a more comprehensive KWIC search.


The Frequency search allows you to search for the frequency of a word in a specific collection or in several collections. The results displayed show the count of the keyword in the collection, the total number of words in the collection and the frequency normalised to 10,000 words.

Filtering your Search

Select at least one Collection to search by ticking your selection/s. You can filter your Corpus search by selecting either OR or AND:
OR - Displays results to keywords within ANY of the selected Collections.
AND - Restricts the results to keywords that are in ALL selected Collections.

How to download one or more items from the Australian National Corpus

Collection items can be downloaded individually, or you can download all items at once.

Individual Download: To download an individual item from a collection, you must first go to the item's page. To do this, select the tick corresponding to the type of file you wish to view for the item (e.g. audio, text). From the item's page, you can download it by selecting the item content name at the bottom of the item metadata.

Collection Download: To download all items in a Collection, scroll to the bottom of the Collection page, until you can see the Download Collection button. Selecting this will download a ZIP file of all the items in the Collection, in all the formats listed, separated by folders. There is a README.txt file in this ZIP that you should read for more information on what was included in the download.

What do the different access rights mean?

There are three levels of access to the AusNC for users who are not logged in. Logged in users can access all content.

The three access levels are:

  1. No Item Access: Only Collection metadata available.
    • Metadata Viewable: Yes
    • Search item text files: No
    • Download item text files: No
    • Download item original/raw/audio/video files: No
  2. Restricted Access Only: Collection metadata, text file search and text file download available.
    Restricted access may mean that there are files that are not available by default. To request access to these files, please contact the collection owner.
    • Metadata Viewable: Yes
    • Search item text files: Yes
    • Download item text files: Yes
    • Download item original/raw/audio/video files: No
  3. View/Search Collection: Collection metadata, text file search and download of all file types available.
    • Metadata Viewable: Yes
    • Search item text files: Yes
    • Download item text files: Yes
    • Download item original/raw/audio/video files: Yes

What are the different File Types?

Various different file types can be found in individual Corpora. A description of these is detailed below:

  • Original: The file format that was originally uploaded.
  • Raw: The plain text version of the Original file. It may contain some XML or special character encoding converted into plain text.
  • Text: The text-only version of the Original file. This has been sanitised to remove things like XML and special character encoding.
  • Video: A digital video file format (mp4).
  • Audio: A digital audio file format (wav or mp3).
  • Comma Separated Value (CSV) Files:These are files with an extension of .csv and they can be viewed in Microsoft Excel, Google Docs and plain text editors such as notepad.
  • What do the Corpus metadata fields mean?

    Each Collection page has a header section at the top that displays metadata fields that describe it. They are explained in more detail below.

    • Alternative Title: Another title the collection is known by.
    • Abstract: A brief summary description of the items in the collection.
    • Creator: The individual or entity who collated the items in the collection.
    • Contributor: The individual or entity who contributed items to the collection.
    • Custodian: The individual or entity who is responsible for looking after the collection data.
    • Owner: The individual or entity who has proprietary rights on the items in the collection.
    • Created: The start and/or end date when the collection was generated.
    • Temporal: The start and/or end date when the items in the collection were created.
    • Item Format: A description of the types of items in the collection.
    • Item Type: A list of the different types of items in the collection.
    • Item Count: A count of the different types of items in the collection.
    • Language: The language the collection.
    • Sensitivity Statement: A statement regarding any cultural or religious sensitivity to be taken into account with the items in the collection.
    • Word Count: The total number of words in the text format of items in the collection.