Using Advanced Keyword Search

What is a search field?

A search field is a text box in which you can type the keywords you want to search for. Each field is accompanied by a drop-down menu that lets you specify the type of data (title, author, etc.) you are searching for. You can mix and match search types however you like.

The "Match" setting lets you specify how multiple search fields should be handled.

  • ALL Terms - Return only records that match every search field.
  • ANY Terms - Return any records that match at least one search field.
  • NO Terms -- Return all records EXCEPT those that match search fields.

The "Add Search Field" button may be used to add additional search fields to the form. You may use as many search fields as you wish.

What is a search group?

For certain complex searches, a single set of search fields may not be enough. For example, suppose you want to find books about the history of China or India. If you did an ALL Terms search for China, India, and History, you would only get books about China AND India. If you did an ANY Terms search, you would get books about history that had nothing to do with China or India.

Search Groups provide a way to build searches from multiple groups of search fields. Every time you click the "Add Search Group" button, a new group of fields is added. Once you have multiple search groups, you can remove unwanted groups with the "Remove Search Group" button, and you can specify whether you want to match on ANY or ALL search groups.

In the history of China or India example described above, you could solve the problem using search groups like this:

  • In the first search group, enter "India" and "China" and make sure that the "Match" setting is "ANY Terms."
  • Add a second search group and enter "history."
  • Make sure the match setting next to the Search Groups header is set to "ALL Groups."

What does "ALL terms" mean?

The "Match" options correspond with Boolean operators.

  • ALL Terms - corresponds to Boolean operator AND
  • ANY Terms - corresponds with Boolean operator OR
  • NO terms - corresponds with Boolean operator NOT

It is also possible to construction a Basic Keyword Search using standard Boolean operators.

Do I need to pick options for Language, Format, etc.?

No. You may choose to limit your search by these options (e.g. Language, Format, Collection), but it is not required.

What order are Languages listed in?

The first 10 languages represent the most common languages in the collection, listed in descending order of prevalence. The remaining languages are listed alphabetically.

What's the difference between a Location and Collection?

"Location" refers to the physical space in which Library materials may be found, e.g. Regenstein Library, Crerar Reference, SSA Reserves. "Collection" refers to a subset of materials within a specific "Location." If you select a Location in your search, any available Collections within that Location will appear as possible limits in the Collection column. For example, if you select Crerar Library under Location, you can then choose to further limit to Crerar Manuscripts under Collection.

How do I pick multiple Languages, Formats, etc.? Why do I get strange results if I pick multiple Languages, Formats, etc.?

It is possible to select multiple languages, Formats, or Locations at once, by holding down the Shift button on your keyboard and clicking on your selections. However, this approach may yield unexpected results. These search limits will be joined with a Boolean AND, not a Boolean OR. So limiting your search to "French" and "English" will only return results for materials that are in both French AND English. Similarly, limiting your search to materials with a Location of Regenstein Library and Crerar Library will only return results for materials located in both places.

It is possible to construct a search which searches French or English language materials using power searching options in a Basic Keyword Search. Add an expression like (language:French OR language:English) to your search to do this. See Field Searching for additional details.