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Page 1+ User Guide

Searching Steps

Conducting a search

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.

Reviewing search results

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 search 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.

5 Searching Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it simple. Start by searching for the topic or concept that you need information on.
  • Your search may look like this:
    • administering medicine
    • health children
    • bridge construction
  • Evaluate the results and determine if you can modify the search terms to be more precise. This can help eliminate unnecessary or irrelevant results.
  • For example: 
    • Start with: children
    • More Precise: children education
    • Even More Precise: children education Toronto
  • Your discipline may have specific terminology unique to that field of study (i.e., keywords found in your textbooks). Use these keywords to make your search more descriptive. 
    • Not ideal: problems with the heart
    • Better: heart disease
    • Even better: cardiomyopathy 
  • Pick out the most important keywords in your search and only them, this allows the system to get to the heart of what you are looking for. By eliminating unnecessary language more precise results can be retrieved.
    • Not ideal: what are the violent video games that children play?
    • Better: violence video games children
  • Use quotations (") to conduct phrase searching to find the EXACT phrase that you have typed into the search bar.  
    • a phrase search of "teacher education" will find results with the phrase teacher education in it

Common Search Features