Searching Techniques

Step by step Instructions

1. Identify the main concepts of your research topic and brainstorm possible keywords.

2. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine concepts and enhance your search. By using AND, you are narrowing your search and by using OR to connect synonyms, you are expanding your search. Boolean operators (command words) must be in CAPS when searching Omni.

Here are a few examples:

 "Vietnam War desertions"

(draft dodgers OR resisters) AND Canad*

"Anti-Vietnam movement" AND Canad*

"political refugees" AND war AND Canad*

3. Make sure to enclose phrase searches with quotation marks. Example: "Vietnam War desertion*"

4. Use the truncation (or stemming) to broaden your search. The asterisk * at the end of a root word will search various word endings. Example: Canad* = Canada's, Canadian, Canada

5. Begin searching for material with the Omni, the library's main search box to find books and other sources on your topic. Remember to filter your search by content type for each new search in order to find a variety of material.

6. Here are the filters to use for finding peer-reviewed journals:

  • Peer-reviewed journals
  • Articles
  • Subject (optional)

7. Here are the filters to use for finding books:

  • Print physical item or Available Online
  • Books

8. Use Virtual Browse at bottom of search results screen to browse books.

9. If you need more help use the Omni Search Tips guide

Content last reviewed: January 26, 2021