Skip to Main Content

Discovering the Library's Collections: Search Tips & Tricks

Search help for the Library's new search interface

Searching Basics

About searching

A basic search is a "keyword" search. To perform a search: Enter a term in the search box and press "enter" on your keyboard or use the search button. 

  • For a TITLE search:  eliminate the words A, An, The at the beginning of the title.

Use the Advanced Search to:

  • Perform a complex search (search on multiple fields and combine terms)
  • Search multiple databases at once 

Searching shortcuts:

Search Type Shortcut Example
author  au=  au=diaz, junot

ti= (if you have exact title)

ti:  (if you have part of the title)

ti=astrophysics for people in a hurry

ti: people in a hurry

subject su: su:social work
keyword kw: kw:adobe photoshop
call number nu: nu: RC440
language ln= ln=japanese (for books & materials in Japanese)


Frequently used search commands:

Boolean operators
Use Boolean operators (ANDORNOT) to narrow or expand your search. Boolean operators must be capitalized.  For example:  childhood AND diabetes

Enter the first three characters of the term (at a minimum) and follow with an asterisk (*).

For example if you search: securit*

Search results will contain: securit-y, securit-ies, or securit-ization

Enter the first three characters of the term (at a minimum) and follow with a wildcard. You can use two wildcard characters: the pound sign (#) and the question mark (?).

  • Use the pound sign to represent a single character. (e.g. wom#n)
  • Use the question mark to match missing (zero) and up to nine characters including no additional characters.

Save searches

You may save up to 100 searches and manage searches from your account page. To save a search, enter a search request in the search box and then click Save this search in the left navigation bar. A confirmation message will appear.

Navigate to Library Links > Saved searches to view and manage saved searches.

More Information

Want more in-depth information about how to search?