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Library Guides

Library 101 - Drew Library: How to Search

Information may be found here to help Library users navigate Library resources.

How to Search

Databases 103: Searching Library databases.  (Source: Cal State Fullerton Pollak Library).

Searching in Google is straightforward:  usually, we just ask a question, or mention a topic, like inserting diacritics in microsoft word or how does pet therapy work?  Searching in most library search tools requires a slightly different approach.  The video below offers a good introduction to searching academic resources (Source: Cal State Fullerton Pollak Library). After viewing the video, click on the links found in this LibGuide for hints in using Drew's Library Catalog, ScholarSearch, and Google Scholar. Questions? Contact the Library at

Using Search Tools

Every search tool uses a slightly different approach, but all searching is based on Boolean logic, which combines sets of terms:

  • AND between terms will ask for the tool to find everything with BOTH terms, not necessarily close to each other:
    • "climate change" AND "college students"
      • Putting quotation marks around two or more words causes the tool to look for the words togetheras a phrase.
  • OR between terms will ask a tool to find everything with EITHER one term OR the other.  Use this to expand your search, to look for alternative terms for the same topic.
    • "college students" OR undergrad*
      • Putting an asterisk at the end of a term looks for any terms beginning with those letters.  
        • undergrad* = undergrad OR undergraduate OR undergraduates

Database search tips

Questions? Need Help? Email

Drew University Library,