Skip to Main Content

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. 

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

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 your 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.