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HI 372: World War II

Strategies to Improve Search Results

1) Use keywords instead of long sentences

Search with question/statement: How is artificial intelligence used to show sponsored ads in Facebook

>> Returns very few, highly irrelevant results.

Instead, search 2 - 3 concepts at a time derived from your research question:

artificial intelligence


social media


2) Put search terms into the Advanced Search

Using the Advanced Search will allow you to build a stronger search query.  The advanced search can be found below the main search box on the Library homepage:

Onesearch Advanced Search

3) Search Essentials

Use Boolean Operators to separate terms and add relevant ones. 

  • AND - Limits your search (fewer results) by combining search terms
  • OR - Expands your search (more results) by including synonyms and related terms
  • NOT - Limits your search (fewer results) by excluding irrelevant keywords
  • Use drop down menus when you are searching for a specific author, title, publication, or subject heading for more precise searching.

Phrase searching

  • Add "quotation marks" around specific phrases
  • Creates unique search term
  • Focuses your search (fewer results)


  • Use wildcard (*) to truncate word so that more variations of word are found.  Truncation symbols vary by database but may include *, !, ?, or #.
  • Expands your search

Example: child* returns results for child, childs, children, children, childhood, 

Example:  colo*r returns color or colour 


OneSearch showing quotes and boolean operators

4) Search Limiters (left side menu)

Use Search Limiters to further narrow your search by date, format, and other aspects of a publication.  Search limiters are located along the left side of the search window.

Search limiters

  • Available Online - shows only web-based content that Eckerd as access to
  • Peer-reviewed Journals - shows only articles published in peer-reviewed journals, whether we have access to them or not
  • Open Access - shows resources that should be available to anyone
  • Available in the Library - shows only books and ebooks that the library has access to

Others to consider:

  • Resource Type - to limit by format (e.g. book, journal, video)
  • Date - to set range of years
  • Location - for specific location in library
  • Collection - for specific database the library subscribes to

5) OneSearch tools make your life easier 

  • Email results
  • Pin/Add item to Favorites
  • Cite - choose your format!
  • URL - persistent URL for sharing/going back to articles