Ways to Refine a Keyword Search

To Narrow Your Search

  • Combine your terms with AND and NOT.
    Example: ADHD and children
      ADHD not children
  • Use "quotation marks" when you want your search terms to be next to each other.
    Example: Enter "image of God" to find all items with these terms in this order.
  • Use the Select Format pull-down menu to limit by a specific material.
    Example: Selecting Video/DVD will only return results from the Video and DVD collection.
  • Use Advanced Search to limit by language or date.

To Broaden Your Search

  • Combine your terms with OR.
    Example: ADHD or hyperactivity
  • Use a question mark (?) symbol to search for variations on a word.
    Example: hyperact? (for hyperactivity, hyperactive, hyperactiveness, etc.)
  • Use a broader concept
    Example: instead of "ADHD", use "learning disabilities"
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Resources for Librarians and Educators, Credits
Original InfoRM material © 2011 by the Liberty University Jerry Falwell Library. This tutorial incorporates material from SBU Library Research Guide, a tutorial developed by the Stony Brook University Libraries, © 2004, from Inflite, a tutorial developed by IUPUI, © 2003, from Searchpath, a tutorial developed by the Western Michigan University Library, © 2001-2002, and from TILT, a tutorial developed by the Digital Information Literacy Office for the University of Texas System Digital Library, © 1998-2002. This material may be reproduced, distributed, or incorporated, provided that appropriate credit is given.