Guide to Board of Veteran's Appeals (BVA)
Decisions on CD-ROM
The BVA Infobase contains BVA decisions and indexes to those decisions for years 1992, 1993, and 1994. In addition, the disk includes a vocabulary of terms used within the indexes.
You may search the Infobase by two methods:
- Standard Query: A Standard query will search all of the decisions and indexes in the infobase. The search will begin with information starting in 1994 and work backward to 1992. This will display the most current information first. To run this type of query, select "Query" from the tool bar, type the word you wish to search for, then press "OK". For example, if you are looking for the term "abdominal," select "Query" from the tool bar and type "abdominal" (without quotes) in the field provided. Press "OK". Please note that searches for phrases can take several minutes.
- Limited Query: You may limit the search range of a query to a specific year by including the year as part of the query. The BVA infobase recognizes individual years as y92, y93, and y94 for the purpose of queries. From the tool bar, select "Query" and type a "y" in the query field followed immediately by the year you want to search. For example: y94 Next, add a space, then enter your query just as you normally would. For example, if you want to find all occurrences of "abdominal" and want to limit your search to 1994 BVA decisions, your query string should look like this: y94 abdominal To search for a phrase within a specific year, type "y" and the year followed by a space. Then type the phrase you are searching enclosing your phrase within quotation marks. Press "OK". For example: y94 "abdominal disorders" If you would like to search two specific years only, you may use an "OR" statement in your query. An "OR" statement is signified by a "pipe" (|) located above the (Enter) key. To search for the string "abdominal" and limit your search to 1993 and 1994 BVA decisions, use the following query: y93|y94 abdominal A space before or after the pipe is not required. After your query string is complete, select "OK" to enter your search request.
Jumping within an infobase is a means to access certain information more quickly than running a query. If an infobase contains different types of information, but the information is somehow related, "jumping" provides an easy way to access that related information.
You can jump from one point to another in this infobase by using "Jump Links". A Jump Link may be identified when the mouse pointer changes from an arrow to a hand when it is positioned over text in the infobase. Jump Links have been programmed into this infobase so that from the main menu, you may select from the "menu text" (highlighted in the light blue) and jump to the starting point of that item in the infobase. For example, if you double-click on the phrase "92 Index," you will jump to the beginning of the 1992 BVA Index. From there, you may double- click on any BVA Citation number and jump to that particular decision.
For another example of Jump Links programmed into this infobase, select "Vocabulary" from the main menu. You will jump to the BVA Vocabulary. From there, it is possible to double click on any vocabulary heading and jump to the first occurrence of that heading in the 1994 BVA Index. Double-clicking on any "See Also" reference in the vocabulary section will jump you to that heading within the vocabulary. If a vocabulary heading does not have a Jump Link, there are no index references for that heading.