The Search Area is divided into four sections:
- Search box.
- Search type as drop-down list.
- "Show only Resources open to the public"
- Search button.
The search box:
- The search box allows you to enter words or phrases (i.e., "search terms") to search for resources.
- Searches are not case-sensitive.
- The search terms can include "and," "or", "not" and some special characters. Please see the "Search Tips" section below for more information.
The search type drop-down list:
- This list allows you to choose what type of search to perform. There are three types of searches:
- Title Words - this searches the basic, extended, and alternate titles of the resources
- Keywords - this searches both the titles and subject terms of the resources. In the "Databases" category, keywords also searches the text in the database descriptions
- Exact Title - this searches the beginning words of primary, extended, and alternate titles of the resources Please see the "Search Tips" section below for more information.
"Show only Resources open to the public":
- Select the box next to "Show only resources open to the public" to limit your results to resources that are available to the general public.
- Clicking this box will exclude items that are published annually or bi-annually. Use if you only want to retrieve publications published weekly, monthly or quarterly in your search. [This feature only available under Journals tab.]
The search button:
- Once you've made your selections and entered your search terms, click on this button to process the search.
- Title, Keyword, and Exact searches also search alternative titles for each resource. Alternative titles are not displayed on the list, but can be seen in titles' Library Search records. For example, an alternative title for the journal J@pan Inc is Japan Inc.
- The search process ignores words two characters or less in length unless they are in phrases enclosed in quotation marks.
- The search process ignores the common words "of", "a", "an", "the", and "is" unless they are in phrases enclosed in quotation marks.
- By default, the search process will look for variants of your search terms. For example, searching for bio will also find the word variants that begin with "bio" such as: biology, biometrics, biological, bioethics, etc.
- To search for characters strings within words, like microbiology, dermatobiological, and moleculobiology, search for *bio.
- A search containing & will return results containing both & and and, while a search containing and will return results containing both and and &.
- Translations of resources are listed by their English titles in a result screen. However, they are searchable using either their original or English language titles.
- Search terms are highlighted in search results.
And, Or, Not:
- The available logical operators are and, +, or, not, -, and !.
- And is the default logical operator. For example, a search for war peace will be searched as war and peace.
- Logical operators are treated as regular words in search phrases enclosed in quotation marks, e.g., "arts and sciences".
- The and and + operators:
- The plus sign (+) behaves exactly like and does in searches.
- All words or phrases joined by these operators must exist in order to be returned by the search.
- The or operator:
- When two words or phrases are joined by an or, then either word or phrase (or both) must exist in order to be returned by the search.
- The not, -, and ! operators:
- The minus sign (-) and the exclamation point (!) behave exactly like not.
- Words or phrases preceded by not in a search can not exist in the results returned by the search.
- Not negates the next logical operator in a search, e.g. and not, or not.
- Multiple not operators are treated as a single not operator, e.g., not not is still only evaluated as a single instance of not.
Special Characters (i.e., regular expression characters):
- Special characters include quotation marks, the asterisk, the question mark, the carot, and square brackets.
- Quotation (") marks:
- Any series of words enclosed in quotation marks will be treated as a single unit. For example, a search for "criminal justice" will only return results that have the phrase criminal justice in them.
- Logical operators, such as and and or, are treated as normal words if they are enclosed in "quoted" phrases.
- The asterisk (*):
- The asterisk represents any number of characters, including zero characters. For example, the search chem* will return words beginning with chem, such as chemistry and chemical.
- The asterisk can be used within any part of a word. For example, a search for b*o* will return words beginning with bio, bro, bao, etc.
- The default search is to append an asterisk to every word or phrase provided in the search box. For example, a search for africa is searched as africa*. As a result, this search will return results with the words african, africa, africanized, etc.
- The question mark (?):
- The question mark represents one, and only one, unknown character in a search. For example, the search A?A will return results containing the words ABA, ADA, AMA, etc.
- Multiple question marks can be used in succession. Each one will represent one character.
- The carot (^):
- Words or phrases preceded by a ^ character must exist as the first word(s) of a resource's title. For example, a search for ^world will result in World Bank Economic Review and World bank research observer, but it will not result in United World Congress.
- The "Exact Title" search uses the carot character to process its searches. If an Exact Title search has multiple search terms, the terms are treated as a single "quoted" phrase and are searched as a single unit of text. Resulting titles must then begin with that phrase.
- Square brackets ([ and ]):
- Square brackets are used to specify a range of characters to include or not include in a search term. For example, a search for wom[ae]n will return results with the words woman and women, but not womin.
- A carot (^) character has a special meaning when it is the first character following an opening bracket ([). It negates each character listed in the range. For example, a search for wom[^ae]n will return results with the words womin and womon, but not woman or women.