Empty elements cannot be found

Hi Everyone!

I am working with a relatively new installation of Omeka. We have successfully harvested data into Omeka using the OAI plug-in. Now I am working with the data in Omeka and having some problems. I do not think it is an OAI issue, but rather a problem with the search functions in Omeka.

I have 5121 items in Omeka. For now they are all from one repository, which should be listed in the "source" element. When I search in the Omeka administrative interface I get 4112 items with the proper source. I get the same number if I search "is not empty" in source. However, if I search source "is empty" I get no items. About 1,000 items are therefore missing their sources, but I cannot produce a list of them.

I think this is a problem with the metadata we harvested. However, unless I can figure out what items are missing the source element, I can't go back to the original repository and fix the items. I did find one item (by random luck) that seems to be among the missing records. It has nothing in the source element, on the public, administrative, or editor interfaces. Yet a "is empty" search does not return it. If it has an invisible white space character, it should show up under the "is not empty" search, right?

Any advice, or description of similar problems would be useful.

I am running:
Omeka version 1.3.1
Exhibit Builder 1.0
OAI Harvester 1.0
Simple Pages 1.0
and Simple Contact Form .3
Other plug-in are inactive


The "is empty" search is somewhat inaccurately named. It only returns records that have no text for an element at all.

You're right that the "is empty" search should give you the opposite set from the "is not empty" search. Unfortunately, that's not how the search currently works. The "is empty" search is fixed in the development version of the software, and the fix will appear in Omeka 1.4.

For the moment, there's a workaround that may be somewhat helpful. While the "empty" search won't do what you need, you can use Omeka's sorting functionality to sort the items with an empty Source element to the top of the browse page. The following URL:


should give you the Source-less items at the top.

Thank you so very much! That link worked perfectly, and now I will be able to figure out why the records don't have sources.

I appreciate the quick response and solution.