Topic or Keyword Search
A Topic or keyword search is when you conduct a search looking for a specific topic, or concept. For instance, you may search the topic of "history" or "nursing" in a topic search. This will provide you with broad results on the topic since there is not enough specificity in the search. For instance, doing a topic search of "nursing" may bring back results like "the history of nursing", "clinical and cardiac nursing", or "nursing in remote locations". Topic searching is great if you are not quite sure what you are looking for in your search as it exposes you to a plethora of options.
Known Item Search
Known item searching is when you already have a specific resource in mind, such as textbooks or reading material for your class. Usually, a known item search is conducted to gain access to a specific resource, find its location or availability, or check the particulars of the resource, such as author, release date, etc.
Once you have conducted your search, be sure to review the results to determine if they are relevant to your research needs. You may also want to try other related keywords (i.e. broader or narrower terms) to find more results.
Refining results goes hand in hand with reviewing results. Use "refine your results" to filter your search results by item location, resource type, subject, etc. Refining results allows you to narrow or limit your search results so you can more easily locate the resource that is just right for your research needs.