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Library Search Tips: Home

Here you will find basic tips to make effective searches using the library search.

Away on Research Leave
July - December 2022

  • When you are searching for a phrase, surround it in quotation marks.  For example, "global warming".  The system will prioritize the search to locate the phrase.

Graphic example of entering a phrase, "global warming"

Note:  The graphic representation of the query box is not the same as the one for UML Library Search.

  • Here are how you use AND, OR, or NOT operators:
    • honey bee AND communication  When you want to search the terms, honey bee and communication simultaneously somewhere in the same record.
    • Irish OR Celtic  When you want to search either the term, Irish or Celtic, one or the other, or both terms simultaneously in the same record.  OR operator is useful when you want to cluster similar terms.
    • Irish NOT Celtic  When you want to search the term, Irish, but not interested in the term, Celtic.  You can eliminate the term, "Celtic," from your search by preceding the term with NOT operator.
  • (), parentheses, allow you to group search terms and control the order of search.

Here are some examples:

Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet)

This will search all the records containing Shakespeare and either the term, tragedy or sonnet or both.

(Shakespeare AND tragedy) OR sonnet

This will retrieve the records containing the terms Shakespeare and tragedy both somewhere in a record, and in addition, all the records containing the term, sonnet.

(Irish OR Celtic) NOT Gaelic

This will search the records containing the term, Irish or Celtic, or both, but not the term, Gaelic.  If () are absent in the above query,  UML Library Search will first search (Celtic Not Gaelic) as below.  Please note that Library Search first searches AND and NOT operators left to right, then OR operator left to right in that order when there are multiple operators in a given query.

Irish OR (Celtic NOT Gaelic)

Use "?" or "*" strategically:

  • Use ?, a question mark when you want to perform a single character wildcard search.

E.g., wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women.

  • Use *, an asterisk to conduct a multiple character wildcard search.

E.g., type cultur* to locate words such as culture, cultural, and culturally.



Tips for Conducting Advanced Searches

Coming Soon!