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Search Tips & Tricks

How to maximize your search results in library databases and Google!

First, How does it work?

Slide Presentation


Operators are symbols to make your search more accurate. Complete an algorithm. Classic operators are:  "and, or, or not"
- (minus) symbol: If you want to exclude a term, links, or sites


  Civil War –

Site: only search on certain sites:

  Afghanistan site:nytimes

link: search for sites link to a certain URL


* (asterisk): use as a place holder for an unknown word or term. Also called a wildcard.

     four *, seven years ago 

Info: Get information about the url and related sites to your search. Can include cache information too.


Filetype: look for a particular type of file like pdf, jpg, png, etc.

  non-hodgkins lymphoma filetype:pdf

Intitle:  Look for a word in the title


You can combine any of these operators with a space to get results:


author: andrew russell intitle: networking filetype:pdf

Google Scholar

Library databases are the first places to go for the latest in research. Also, because research papers, conference proceedings, etc are protected by copyright. But if you're going to use the open internet you should you Google Scholar for research as it searches research articles and books that are available through the Internet. If you are on campus or logged into MyStevens results will also indicate whether the SCW Library has access to them.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Help