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A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed. The general rule is that the prescriptions of a statute relating to the performance of a public duty are so far directory that, though neglect of them may be punishable, it does not affect the validity of the acts done under them, as in the case of a statute requiring an officer to prepare and deliver a document to another officer on or before a certain day.

Generally, statutory provisions that do not relate to the essence of a thing to be done, and as to which compliance is a matter of convenience rather than of substance, are directory, while provisions that relate to the essence of a thing to be done, that is, matters of substance, are mandatory.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DIRECTORY. That which points out a thing or course of proceeding; for example, a directory law.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
What are the web search engines and reference sources utilised for research activities by undergraduates?
Web-based Search engines: Web Search engine is used to retrieve the information available world wide web.
Rather than working primarily through the Web search engines, RedLightGreen offers centralized searching of over 45 million titles from the RLG union catalog.
Without further qualification, search engine usually refers to a Web search engine, which searches for information on the public Web.
* 74% of the students used Web search engines once a week or once in a fortnight (Figure 1)
In 1989, Bray co-founded the Open Text Corp., where he developed text-retrieval software and later introduced what would become one of the first commercial Web search engines. He may be contacted at
Even so, it seems that Web search engines together are indexing no more than around 40 to 50 percent of the Web (estimates range from as low as 20 percent to as high as 50 percent).
The Extreme Searchers Guide to Web Search Engines: A Handbook for the Serious Searcher (2nd Edition); Randolph Hock; CyberAge Books, Medford, NJ; 2001; 241 pp.
Now that you've created your new Website, begin registering it with as many of the main Web search engines as you can find.
In addition to the breakthrough in question-answer technology, a second emphasis in this years TREC was an examination of the infrastructure required to evaluate Web search engines. The Web differs from other data collections used in TREC in a variety of ways: size; variety of subject matter, media types, languages, and presentation styles; lack of specific editorial control; explicit links among documents; frequent changes to documents; and generated content.
First Workshop: Web Search Engines, Boolean Operators