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How to Search the Library

Use this guide to learn how to find books and articles on the library website.

Focusing Your Search Results

Focusing Your Search Results

You can focus or narrow your search results by using the search limits or search refinements provided by the database.  

These refinements can be applied before your keyword search (on the Basic or Advanced Search pages) or after your keyword search (in a "Refine Results" or "Filter Results" area next to your search results).

CheckmarkBest practice is to apply any search limits AFTER your initial search.  This way you can see how many results you have to work with, then narrow your search by applying one limit at a time.


The most popular search refinements are:
  • Full Text checkbox
    • Check this box if you only want to see results where the full article is available in the database.
  • Publication Date range
    • Choose this option to limit your results to only the most current articles on your topic (i.e. the last 5 years).
  • Peer Reviewed checkbox
    • Choose this option to limit your results to only articles that come from peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals.
  • Source Type or Document Type limit
    • Use this limit if you only want a particular type of source: scholarly article, magazine article, newspaper article, etc.
  • Subject limit
    • Use this limit to narrow your results to only those articles that have been tagged with a specific subject term.

Search Limits in Academic Search Premier

Image showing search limits next to search results in Academic Search Premier

Search Limits in Academic OneFile (Gale)

Screenshot showing search limits on search results page in Academic OneFile (Gale)