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Tips on Searching

Tips on Searching

These examples for combining keywords link to Discover Local (the catalog), but you can usually do the following operations in other databases. Other databases may use different symbols - check help screens to be sure.

Phrase search: use quotation marks in Discover Local (and in most other databases). For example:

Truncation / multiple wildcard symbol: * in Discover Local (and in most other databases). For example:

  • revolution* (Will look for the words revolution, revolutions, revolutionaries, etc.)

Wildcard symbol: ? in Discover Local (and in most other databases). For example:

  • wom?n (Will look for woman, women, womyn, etc.)

Combining keywords: In Discover Local, the easiest option is to use the pull down menu to combine keywords:

  • AND - results will contain all words in the search box(es) / narrows your search.
  • OR - results will contain at least one of the keywords typed in the search box / broadens your search.
  • NOT - results will exclude a keyword. Use carefully or you will accidentally eliminate useful information just because it happens to mention the word you have after "NOT" / narrows your search.

Also see the "Smooth Operator" tutorial here:
(Script for this tutorial here.)
And this page for detailed help on advanced searching in Discover Local.