On the home page, you can perform a simple search for a parliamentary paper by title or paper number.
For more search options select ‘Advanced Search’ beneath the search box.
In the left-hand column of the advanced search screen you can specify Parliament, Session and Category (e.g. type of paper). The default option selects all parliaments, sessions and categories.
Enter your search terms in the relevant box:
If appropriate, select the corporate author from the drop-down menu.
If you know the paper number (e.g. HC 128) you can enter this in the ‘Title, ISBN, Paper Number’ box.
You can limit the date range by selecting the appropriate dates from the ‘Date From’ and ‘Date To’ boxes.
Select how you wish the results to be displayed from the ‘Sort Order’ drop-down menu (i.e. ‘Alphabetical’, ‘Categorical’, ‘Chronological’).
Select the ‘Search’ button.
Records indicate the date, paper series and number, and title of the document.
The search results page also offers the option to:
Follow the relevant links to benefit from these features.
Select the title to view the full-text of a document in PDF.
On the next page select ‘DOWNLOAD PDF’ .
The document opens in a new window. You can then print or save the document as you would any other file.
Public Information Online offers a range of connectors and other syntax symbols which can be used in searches. These include:
On the home page, in the black menu bar you can follow links to ‘UK Parliament’, ‘Scottish Parliament’, ‘Scottish Government’, etc.
You can then follow links to specific categories of publication.*
After following the link to category of publication, you can select the session from the drop-down menu and then select the ‘FILTER’ button.
You can then browse documents by selecting a range of paper numbers (e.g. 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc.).
A list of relevant documents is displayed in the main frame.
To view the full-text of the document in PDF form, select the title link.
On the next page select ‘DOWNLOAD PDF’.
The full-text document opens in a new window. You can then print or save the document as you would any other file.
*For example, under ‘UK Parliament’ links include ‘House of Commons Papers’, ‘House of Commons Bills’, ‘House of Lords Papers’, ‘House of Lords Bills and Amendments’, ‘Command Papers’, ‘HOC Daily Hansards’ and ‘HOL Daily Hansards’; under ‘Scottish Parliament’ links include ‘Papers’, ‘Bills’, ‘Explanatory Notes to Bills’, ‘Policy Memorandums to Bills’, ‘Official Reports’, ‘Written Answers’, ‘Official Reports of Committee Debates’; and under ‘Scottish Government’ are links to ‘SG Papers’ and documents grouped by topic.
Use this to follow the progress of a Bill through the UK or Scottish Parliaments:
You can get help with using Public Information Online by selecting ‘Help’ in the grey menu bar at the top of the screen.