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Search Tips

Phrase searching is one of the most powerful ways to search.  

Use quotes to enclose key phrases.  This will search for the words in the exact order that they appear.  


"femme fatale" 

"french revolution"

"north by northwest"

"kurt vonnegut"


Boolean Searching

By default in SingleSearch, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator.

For example: typing age of aquarius in the search bar is the same as typing age AND of AND aquarius. (FYI: If you search for a preposition that isn't part of a particular phrase--using quotes--odd things can happen to your search results. Consider this: how many articles or books or movies have the word of in them?)

Boolean operations (AND, OR, NOT) must be entered in ALL CAPS.

Here is a terrific infographic on boolean operators from Prince George's Community College:

You can use Boolean operators in combination with phrase searching like so:
"local food" OR "sustainable eating"

Boolean operators can also be nested:

(local OR sustainable) agriculture is the same as a search for (local OR sustainable) AND agriculture

On the other hand,

local OR sustainable agriculture is the same as a search for local OR (sustainable AND agriculture)

To exclude items in search, use the NOT operator or the minus symbol before the word.

Example: animal NOT dog,  animal -dog

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