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Home  >  Frequently-Asked Questions About Searching
Search Options:  Basic Search  |  Advanced Search

What are the Basic Search options?

A Basic Search allows you to conduct a simple keyword or exact phrase search using the options described below.


Option: keyword search [default]

  • What it does: search for documents containing one or more words
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for resources with one or more keywords
    • multiple words can be combined with and or simply strung together
    • example: weapons and destruction and biological or weapons destruction biological
  • Example search for weapons of mass destruction as keywords: Basic

Option: "exact phrase" search

  • What it does: search for documents containing an exact sentence or phrase
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for resources with a specific term or phrase
    • use quotes around your search term to search for an exact phrase.
    • "weapons of mass destruction" will return results where the complete phrase appears.
    • without quotes, it will return results where words in the search term appear in any order.
  • Example search for "weapons of mass destruction" as an exact phrase: Basic

Option: term(s) in any field [default]

  • What it does: search term appears in at least one of the available fields
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for all resources where your search term appears in any field
  • Example search for weapons of mass destruction as terms in any field: Basic

Option: term(s) in author

  • What it does: search for the name of an author
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for resources by an author rather than anything mentioning that person
  • Example search for james jones as terms in the author field only: Basic

Option: term(s) in title

  • What it does: search the title of the document
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for a specific document when you know the title or at least some of the words in the title
    • to search for resources that have a few select words in the title [e.g. "emergency preparedness" or "patriot act"], since this should indicate the focus of the document
  • Example search for weapons of mass destruction as terms in the title field only:Basic

Option: term(s) in title or summary

  • What it does: search in the title and summary
  • When/how to use:
    • to search for resources that have your search term in either the title or summary of the document
  • Example search for weapons of mass destruction as terms in the title or summary/abstract field only:Basic
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