OneSearch, accessible from the Library's homepage, cross searches the Oboler Library catalogue for print and e-books, databases, journals, and articles at once rather than searching these items individually. Once you have entered your search terms and generated a search, use the options on the left of the page to narrow your results even further. This will help expedite the research process.
Boolean operators define the relationship between search terms.
Here is a series of Venn diagrams to show you how the Boolean operators limit or expand searches.
AND = searches for sources that contain both words; example:
cohort AND model
OR = searches for sources that contain either word (the first, the second, or both words); example:
cohort OR model
NOT = searches for sources that contain the word before the NOT, but not the word after the NOT; example:
cohort NOT model
Terminology search strategies focus on the words that you use in your searches. These strategies are very precise.
Keyword searching is a form of search strategy that most people know. When you type a word in a search box and click "Search" without adding any additional information, that's a keyword search.
Phrase searching is similar to keyword searching, but instead of searching for one word, you're searching for a phrase. Phrases are surrounded by quotation marks to keep the words of the phrase together. Otherwise, the search interface will usually search for the words anywhere, not necessarily together. For example, searching for "cohort model," including the quotation marks, will search for the phrase together, instead of the word cohort in one location and the word model in a different location.
Proximity searching locates words within a specific distance from each other. The number in the search phrase tells the search interface how many words away from each other the search terms can be. This allows a limited number of other words to be placed between the search terms, providing more possibilities for search retrieval within a limited scope.
Here’s the order of terminology search types based on restrictions placed upon the search.
Wildcard searching replaces the wildcard character with any other character or characters, or sometimes no characters. Typical wildcard characters include the asterisk (*), pound sign or hashtag (#), or question mark (?). Some databases accept multiple wildcard characters. Others only accept one or two. Be sure to check the database's "Help" page to find out this information.
Truncation searching is a specific type of wildcard search that replaces the wildcard character with any other character or series of characters at the end of the word. Truncation characters are almost always asterisks (*).
Note: Google uses the asterisk (*) as a wildcard for an entire word, not just letters. So, this strategy won't work quite the same way in Google. It can be a good option for locating half-remembered quotes, though!
Field terms are words or phrases located in an item's record according to a specific type, or field. To search according to field term, select the field from the drop-down menu next to the search box.
These are the main field search limiters that will appear in most search systems. Many databases will have additional field terms, such as geographic locations or other numeric codes. Explore the drop-down menus to find out what’s available.
Site extension limiters limit a search to a specified domain (or domains, if you limit to more than one). Because this search strategy is only limiting the domain result, it can only be used with web searches. There are a couple of different ways to limit to a site extension.
To apply more than one site extension limiter, add both the connecting Boolean operator OR and the limiter by hand in the search bar.
(policy OR procedure) AND "fire emergency" site:.edu OR site:.gov
The example above searches for information about fire emergency policies or procedures from both .edu and .gov sites.
Be sure to use the OR Boolean operator between the site extensions because you want either type of site. (If you get confused about whether to use AND or OR, remember that websites can't have more than one domain. They can't be both .edu and .gov at the same time.)
The Oboler Library orders online books through several different sources. Browse categories or search for specific titles by looking through the links below.
Idaho State University Libraries have experienced library faculty and staff ready to help!
Visit the library's YouTube channel or tutorial page for videos on how to use the library and conduct research for your class.