OneSearch is sort of like Google for libraries. It searches within the hundreds of individual databases that IU Libraries subscribes to all at once. It primarily searches for articles.
This video tutorial shows how to access OneSearch and search effectively using filters including the use of the Peer-Review limiter.
A keyword expresses a central concept or idea about a topic. When you search Google, you are keyword searching.
When searching library resources like databases, be more selective with keywords. Begin with a small number of terms, and avoid long phrases.
1. Major concepts: Identify major concepts of your topic.
Example topic: the environmental consequences of fracking
2. Related terms: Develop keywords related to the major concepts of your topic.
Concept 1: Fracking
Concept 2: Environmental consequences
Natural gas drilling
Note: Databases can be picky about search terms. Identify synonyms for your concepts, and consider the words likely used in the database.
3. Background research: To identify useful keywords, do some quick background research. Note terms that are often used to discuss the topic.
(Reference sources like Wikipedia or the library databases Encyclopaedia Britannica and Credo Reference offer overviews of many topics. Of course, remember to evaluate information in Wikipedia with particular care.)
4. Database search results: Do a quick database search and view the search results page to identify relevant terms.
Effective Keyword Searching
1. Be concise: Begin with only 2-3 terms, and avoid long phrases. The more terms you enter the fewer results you’ll get.
Keyword Search Examples:
2. Use synonyms and related terms: If your first term doesn’t work, try a synonym. You may have to try out several related search terms to find the types of resources you're looking for.
(Example: environment INSTEAD OF environmental consequences)
Most library databases use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT).
Use them to narrow or broaden search results.
Example: Iran AND China AND (energy OR petroleum OR oil)
Adapted from SAIS Library, Johns Hopkins Univ. "Database Search Tips" Guide (no longer extant).
Many of the collections are searchable through Archives Online. Enter your search term in the box, and choose "University Archives, IU Bloomington" before clicking the search button. Once you select a collection to view, click on "Entire Document" on the left of the screen to view the entire inventory of the collection.
This is called a "finding aid" because it aids you in finding what you need in the collection. The "Title" of the collection and the "Collection No."are listed in the first portion of the finding aid. The "Collection No." is what you use to request a collection, along with the specific box numbers. Make sure to use the finding aid to help you locate which boxes have materials of interest. Read more on requesting materials below.
Helpful online tutorials that provide more detailed information on searching and accessing our collections are listed below: