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Library Search: Search Tips and Tricks

Learn about signing into your account, search options and tips, getting to resources and working with citations.

Search Tips & Tricks

The following are some search tips to get you started. Boolean operators must be capitalized otherwise they are ignored.

AND: Retrieve article that contains ALL terms, narrows search results

Best used when you have two or more different concepts

obesity AND video games

OR: Retrieve articles that contain ANY terms, broadens search results

Best used when you have two or more similar concepts

mountain lion OR puma OR panther

NOT: Eliminates articles that contain the SECOND terms, narrows search results

Best used when applied to the end of a search

cigarettes NOT marijuana
" ": tells the database you’re interested in a specific phrase, narrows search results "synthetic environments"
( ): order of operations matters; group concepts together when combining AND and ORs Twain AND (biography OR works)

Refining your search results

Use the 'Search in full text where available' toggle.

  • The default Search or the 'Available Online' search will search the full text of documents. If you would like NOT to search the full text but search only the citation information like title, author, abstract and other descriptive metadata, you can toggle off the full text menu option.

"Starts with" search type operator in advanced search

Returns results that contain words that start with the specified string. This search type performs left-anchored title and call number searches only. Not available for other search types. When performing a title search, it is recommended that you omit leading articles.

Searching for newspaper articles

Requesting a physical item

If you are requesting a physical item from a title that has many items then examining the description field in the location table can make finding the item you want much easier than paging through the table using the Show More Items link.

location table filter

location table filter open

location table description

No results next steps

The "No Results" page in Library Search happens when the search terms do not match any items in the local discovery index.

The "No Results" page suggests trying the left side filter called, "Add results beyond the library's collection."

When you choose this filter then Library Search expands its discovery index to include citations which we may not have access to.

A primary benefit to seeing the additional citations is that those citations are then available to be requested.