Advanced Search Tips

Can I use special operators with Quick Search to make my search more specific?

You may use: AND, OR, NOT which must be typed in ALL CAPS.

  • AND will narrow your search and, like Google, is the default search when you enter words in the search box. You can also type it directly: volcanoes AND Iceland 
  • To expand the number of hits, use the OR operator: microcircuits OR nanocircuits will return items that contain either term.
  • To search an exact phrase, enter the terms in quotes: “teacher education"
  • To exclude items containing a particular word, use NOT. Guadalajara NOT Spain will exclude all items containing the word Spain.
  • To find words near each other use the tilde (~) at the end of multiple words in quotes.  For example, "media violence"~5 retrieves results where the word media is 5 words or fewer from violence.

Can I use wildcards and truncation?

  • Searches can be expanded using the symbol “*”
  • The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word.  A search for "wom*n" will retrieve items with either the word woman or women. 
  • When used at the end of a word, it will retrieve items containing various endings, for example "transplant*" will retrieve items with words such as transplant, transplanted, transplantation
  • Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a word.

Can I search library resources from my mobile phone?

Yes, you can perform a Quick Search from your web-enabled mobile phone.

Are there other places I might search?

Quick Search is terrific for broad, initial searches, but it's not totally comprehensive. To get a more complete look at the resources available on your topic, you may also want to search on Google Scholar and the library's catalog (UCAT).

If you are doing higher-level research in a particular discipline, you will also want to search relevant subject-specific databases.

Where can I go for assistance?

You can always ask us anything for help via chat, text, email, phone or in-person.