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Frequently Asked Questions
Basic Advanced Saved Help

The Customer Service staff of The Hamilton Spectator online archive wants to help make your searching as trouble-free as possible. To ensure your continued satisfaction with The Hamilton Spectator online archive, we offer the following answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:

What is available in the archive?
The Hamilton Spectator archive includes locally written articles from 10/1/1991 through the present.

What is not contained in the archive?
The Hamilton Spectator archive does not include:
 Birth announcements
 Real Estate
 Legal Notices
 Weather Pages
 Wedding Announcements
 Sports Statistics

Where is the photo/illustration/chart?
Only text is included in the current archives 1991 - present. Photos, charts, illustrations and other graphics are not included. Please see What is not contained in the archives? for more information.

Why should I pay for articles online?
Thank you for writing. The Hamilton Spectator offers articles back to 1991 online, in as part of the website: http://www.thespec.ca. You can search on any topic, by author or date for free but there is a small fee charged to access the full article and print it out. The main purpose of the archive is to provide an additional service to our customers. In addition, the small fees charged help offset the cost of maintaining the archive. We hope you will find this new service of value and feel free to contact us with your comments

How do I purchase articles online?
Advice for new users: After you do a search, a screen will come up with the results of that search. You may view a summary of the document for free. Once you determine which document you would like to view, click on the icon with the '$'. If you are a new user, you will be taken to a pricing page, where you can choose the plan to purchase. After deciding which plan best fits your needs, you will be taken through the purchase experience. After confirming your purchase, the full text of the document will be displayed.

You may choose to print the document or save it for your personal review later on. Since you have access to this document for 90 days, you may complete the same search and retrieve the document again during this time period.

What forms of payment are accepted for purchasing articles?
Accepted forms of payment for purchasing articles:

VISA Master Card
(Billed by ProQuest Archiver)

What is your refund policy?
Customers may submit an online refund request within two hours of purchase. ProQuest will refund the full purchase price provided the customer provides an explanation of why he/she is dissatisfied with the quality of the content delivered. If more than two hours has passed, customers may contact ProQuest Customer Service by email to request a refund at mypqabilling@pqarchiver.com.

Refunds for passes will be pro-rated based upon duration since purchase and usage.

No refunds can be given more than 60 days following the original purchase date.

What is ProQuest Archiver (PQA)?
ProQuest Archiver is an e-commerce platform for publishers to distribute their content on the Web. Visit myPQA to learn more.

How do I order back issues of The Hamilton Spectator?
We have back issues available for the last 3 months. You may request a back issue by calling:
    Customer Service
    or by email:circ@thespec.com

You also may write a note containing your name, address, daytime phone number, date of the issue, and a cheque or money order for the appropriate amount to:
    Customer Service
    44 Frid Street
    Ontario, L8N 3G3
The following are the costs for back issues.
    Weekdays $1.00 plus mailing costs
    Saturdays $1.75 plus mailing costs
NOTE:  All back issues are subject to availability.

How do I get reprints of an article that appeared in The Hamilton Spectator?

Currently, we do not offer this service.

How do I get reprints of a photo that appeared in The Hamilton Spectator?
You can purchase photo reprints by calling:
    Customer Service
    905-526-3478 or 905-526-3451

You also may write a note containing your name, address, daytime phone number, d ate of the issue, and a cheque or money order for the appropriate amount to:
    Customer Service
    44 Frid Street
    Ontario, L8N 3G3
Fees start at $26.40.
NOTE:  All photo reprints are subject to availability.

How do I get better search results?
Be specific with your search terms. If your search is unsuccessful, refine your search terms. To narrow your search, use the advanced search page to fill in date range, author, headline, or subject fields. The more information you provide, the more precise your search results will be. To get more results, select different search words or a longer date range.

Using AND narrows the search, using OR broadens the search, and using NOT excludes unwanted items. The NOT operator is useful in refining an initial query that returns a broad list of results. WITHIN and ADJ controls how close your search terms must be to one another. ADJ also checks that words found are in the same order as in your search expression. For more detail, visit Search Tips.

What part of the article is actually searched for my search term?
The basic search includes the full text of the entire article, as well as text from the headline, author field, date range, subject terms, etc. For more detail on getting good search results, visit Search Tips.

How do I browse articles that appeared on one specific day?
On the advanced search page, use the date range option to select the specific date, insert a "*" into the "Search for" field, and click the search button.

What if I can't find my article?
Please review the Search Tips for helpful information, as well as How do I get better search results?. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide research assistance for the archives.

What formats are available for viewing an article?
You can choose the format you would like to view by clicking the icon next to the article title. Please note: Only some document formats may be available. The following formats may be available:

Preview - The free Preview provides bibliographic information about the article, such as author and publication date, and a brief summary. This format contains no photos!

Full Text - The Full Text version includes the citation and abstract, along with the complete text of the article. This format contains no photos!

What if I have a question that cannot be answered by the Frequently Asked Questions?
If you still have questions after checking the frequently asked questions, please contact Customer Service. Please keep in mind that assistance is available only for technical and account-related issues. Research assistance is not provided.

To whom should we direct comments about articles or the publication (s)?
You can email your comments to Howard Elliott at helliott@thespec.com
or you can call 905-526-3348.

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