ENGL 1102 - Abbott (Online) - Fall 2023

Advanced Search Tools

Now that we've covered some basics, let's look at the Galileo Advanced Search!

You can find a link for it tucked under the search bar on the Galileo home page and the library home page, or under the search box while you are looking at a list of results. 

Why use Advanced Search tools?

Using Boolean operators with the advanced search tools help your keywords work harder for you. You can be more specific in what kind of results you want from Galileo, and even tell Galileo what words not to look for. 

Read through the information for Boolean operators, then move down to see how those operators work with the Galileo Advanced Search!

How do Limiters fit in?

Database Limiters help you limit, or filter, your search results. After you complete a keyword search using the basic or advanced search, you can use limiters to drill down even more specifically to sources that are the most pertinent to your needs.

Boolean Operators

The Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are often used to combine keywords when searching Galileo. Use of these operators can make your search more focused, thus yielding better search results. But before using the operators, it's necessary to understand how they actually work.

Say you're searching for information on Rock and Roll music. You've determined that your keywords are ROCK and ROLL. 


If you use AND, written ROCK AND ROLL, you get only articles that have BOTH the words ROCK and ROLL. This Venn diagram shows you the two keywords, each in a circle, and in the center the overlap where you would find all those articles.

This is a great search if you're looking for articles on rock and roll music!

This is a very narrow, or very focused search.



If you use OR, written ROCK OR ROLL, you get all the articles that contain either one of your keywords. The diagram shows both circles completely shaded in, which means you'll find everything!

So you *might" get articles about rock and roll music, but they may be buried by other articles like how to bake rolls or building a rock garden!

Another strategy here is to use your synonyms ... maybe your search could look like MUSIC (ROCK OR POP). So now I can find articles about both rock and pop music!



If you use NOT, written ROLL NOT ROCK in this case, you will locate articles that do not have the word you set apart with NOT. So in the diagram, we are *excluding* ROCK from our search. This is great when you need to eliminate some keyword that keeps coming up even though it's off topic.


Keep in mind that  AND and NOT generally limit your search (decreases the number of results) and OR expands it (increases the number of results). So the following strategies naturally follow:

  • If you are retrieving too many records on your topic, try adding another keyword with the connector AND.
  • If you are retrieving too many records on an unrelated topic, try eliminating a word with the connector NOT
  • If you are retrieving too few records on your topic, try adding another keyword with the connector OR.

Using the Advanced Search

Galileo's Advanced Search takes the power of Boolean Operators and does the hard work for you. It gives you a drop-down to choose which operator to use between your keywords, simplifying what you need to type in the search boxes.

You can also use the "select a field" dropdown to get even more specific, by searching specifically by author, subject, or even journal title!

Adding Limiters/Filters

Now that we've touched on the highlights of a basic search, let's look at some other tools Galileo has to offer!  You can narrow your results by adding limiters (or filters) found under "Refine Results" in the box to the left of your search results. 

A few important ones to point out:

  1. Scholarly/Peer Reviewed: Right at the top, under Limit To: Need scholarly or peer reviewed articles? Check this box!
  2. Limit by Date: Also under Limit To: It's an easy-to-use slider that's great for when you need an article published in a specific time frame.
  3. Limit by Type: Just need a newspaper article? Or maybe an ebook? This is what you use.  
  4. Limit by Subject: This can be really helpful if you're looking for sources in a specific subject area, and your search results seem to be all over the place.
  5. There are many others, so I encourage you to explore them and see what might work best for your research! 

ProTip: All library databases have limiters. Sometimes they are located on a sidebar, and sometimes they're across the top of the screen. Even Google has limiters, so next time you're online, keep an eye out and take advantage of these great advanced search tools!


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