AUTHOR and TITLE look for known items.
SUBJECT will typically produce the most relevant results because it looks for terms in a predetermined set of subject headings. You may see a set of subject headings and/or cross-references for your search results.
EXAMPLE of the library catalog subject search results for problem-based learning.
This works great if you choose the right subject term; if not, you may get zero results. It's a good idea to browse subject headings if possible or start with a keyword search and note subject headings in the records relevant to your search.
KEYWORD is the default search as it looks for terms anywhere in the source. If you enter two or more words (e.g. high school security) the database will find these words only together and in this exact order.
Different search tools have different default settings. To be on the safe side, follow these simple tips. Most databases will have multiple search boxes and drop-down menus, from which to use logical operators. You can also type in the operators. In most databases the operators do NOT need to be capitalized, however capitalization is REQUIRED in Summon.
Use double quotation marks to keep the words together and in the exact order, for example, "scholarship of teaching and learning". In some databases, you can select the phrase option from a drop-down menu. See the results for this search strategy in the library catalog. Note: common words, such as prepositions, will be ignored.
Use to find all your terms. For example, scholarship AND teaching AND learning. Note: terms may appear in different parts of the record and in any order. In some cases, if a record includes a table of contents this may lead to irrelevant results. See the results for this search statement in the library catalog.
Use to find either term and maybe both. For example, "critical thinking" or "critical reflection." See the results for this search statement in the library catalog.
Use (in some databases "AND NOT") to exclude a concept. For example, the statement "problem-based learning" and not elementary will exclude records containing the word "elementary" and make your search narrower and more focused.
Advanced Search Tips
Combine different operators and/or phase searching using parentheses to separate parts of the statement "critical thinking" OR "critical reflection") AND teaching. See the results for this search statement in the library catalog.
Use the drop-down menu to select in which field you term(s) should appear. Compare these catalog search results for teaching and "critical thinking" (should search for results in any field) and the results for these terms in the SUBJECT field.
Many databases look for an exact match, so you will get different results for "engaged learning" and student and "engaged learning" and students. Type "engaged learning" and student* to get all words beginning with "student." Most databases use the asterisk (*) for the truncation symbol. (refer to database Help section for details).