New Search Features on SEC EDGAR

I just discovered some changes on the search page for the SEC EDGAR database. First, I noticed that there is a new link for effectiveness notices. The second and more exciting change is a link to a beta version of a full text search of SEC filings!

The new full text search page is suppose to allows you to search the full text of EDGAR filings from the last two years. According to the site, “The full text of a filing includes all data in the filing as well as all attachments to the filing.” The “Advance Search” link uses an AJAX like effect to expose a set of additional search options. These include a filter for form type, boxes for either company name or Central Index Key (CIK), and calendar buttons to restrict start date and end date for the search. As a heavy user of EDGAR, I’m going to really enjoy these features.

The EDGAR Full Text Search also includes a fairly detailed FAQ. Some of the key pieces of information that I spotted in the FAQ include:

  • The full text of a filing includes all data in the filing itself as well as all attachments (such as exhibits) to the filing.
  • You can search EDGAR Full Text Search by using “natural language” or Boolean search operators.
  • Capitalizing the proper name will cause the search engine to increase the relevance ranking of the documents containing the name.
  • You can use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOTbut they must be typed in uppercase.
  • You can use operator NEARn to locate documents that contain the terms you selected within “n” words, or fewer, of one another (where n is the number of words).
  • The asterisk (*) is a wildcard symbol that searches for the root of a word followed by one or more characters.

You can read the complete EDGAR Full Text Search FAQ by going to the full text search page and clicking on the link labelled FAQ in the left-hand side menu.

One thing I did notice is that it does not appear that you can save links to your searches in order to repeat them in the future or to share them with others. The SEC did provide an email address, textsearch@sec.gov, to make suggestions for enhancements. I recommend that we put this new stock research tool to work and provide feedback as soon as we can to the SEC. As you try out this new tool, please share your findings and potential tips and tricks that you find for this new search tool in the comments section below. I’ll share the best discoveries with everyone in a future post.

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