The “advanced search” option in most search tools gives you multiple ways of controlling what results you’ll get before you even hit the “search” button. This video will focus on ways of narrowing or expanding your search results in the library catalog. These techniques also work in most databases.
Click on the Advanced Search link from the main library page. Start with one search term, such as social media. Then you can gradually focus in on the most relevant results by:
This search returns a list of items that have the phrases "social media" or "social networks," and the words activist, activists and activism somewhere in the record, and the phrase "big data" not in the record, and are published between 2012 and 2017:
Other search options are available as well. For instance, you can use the drop-down labeled "Any field" to select where you want to search for terms, such as Author or Title. You can also use the "Material Type" drop-down to select only books, films, or another material type, or the Language drop-down to limit to items in a particular language. Or use the Books, Articles, or Anything buttons to search only those types of items. You can even limit by library in the "Search Scope" drop-down.
Another way to focus your search on more relevant results is to use subject tags, which are tags created by librarians to indicate what an item is about. SupposeTweets and the Streets sounds relevant, and you want to find similar books. If you clicked on the title, you'd see the full record:
Then you could scroll down to Details. The subject tag, Social media -- Political Aspects looks promising. (Click on the image below to see that what happens when you click that subject tag.)
You don't have to use the advanced search screen to do advanced searches. As you build skills, you can design more complex searches right in the simple search bar on the home page.
Add quotation marks around a term to search it as a phrase
Use wildcards–an asterisk (*)–to find variants on a word.
allerg*will bring results for allergy, allergies, allergens, allergic, etc.
col*rwill bring results for color or colour
Combine terms using AND, OR, and NOT (in uppercase)
plastics AND environment
plastics OR environment
plastics NOT environment
Nest searches using parentheses
(squid OR octopus) AND ("Gulf of California" OR "Sea of Cortez")