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How to Use OneSearch: Advanced Search

Build Your Search

For a more focused search, try an Advanced Search. Find this option to the right of the main search box. Here you can pre-select a number of specific criteria so that you can immediately have more relevant search results to examine. You do not need to use all of the options; just use the ones that you feel will help you the most.

advanced search link on search box screencap

advanced search options screencap

1. "Search For:" select a category of resources.
2. "Any Field:" choose only a specific field to search for your terms: title, author/creator, subject, ISBN, or ISSN.

3. "Contains, Is (Exact), Starts With:" specify how your terms should be handled by OneSearch.
4. "Material Type:" limit to a type of item, like books or articles, etc.

5. "Language of publication:" limit to certain languages.
6. "Start Date/End Date:" select a range of publication dates.
7. "(Additional blank field):" enter more search terms, and combine with Boolean operators, if needed.
8. "+ Add A New Line:" add more boxes to enter search terms, if needed.

Phrases, Truncation, and Wildcards

Phrase Searching

To search for a specific phrase where the order of the words matter, place quotation marks around the phrase. Using quotation marks around exact phrases is a common feature in many other library search tools.

Examples: "social media" or "nuclear energy" or "alternative medicine"

phrase search example


Truncation lets you search the "root" of a word along with all of the different endings that will create similar/related words to expand your search.

Asterisk (*) - put this symbol at the end of the root of a word to search for all variations of that word.

Example: amplif* would search for amplified, amplify, amplification, etc.


Using a "?" within a word will substitute the "?" for any other single character.

Example: wom?n would also retrieve results with the terms woman, women, womyn, etc.

Boolean Search

Boolean operators allow you to combine terms for greater search precision, expand your results, or immediately remove terms from a search. The operators are AND, OR, and NOT.

You can connect several terms with these operators in the advanced search box by adding them to separate lines, or create a search with these operators in a single, basic search box (for example, you could enter comedy AND film NOT theatre).

boolean operators screenshot

Many other library search tools allow you to use Boolean operators for better results. It is important to note that while using OneSearch, in order for the operators to be recognized, you must enter them in CAPITAL LETTERS. For example:

  • homelessness AND poverty ; not homelessness and poverty 
  • children OR youth ; not children or youth
  • reptiles NOT turtles ; not reptiles not turtles

Search Filters

Filters (also called "facets") will narrow search results to only selected categories. The filters appear on the left side of the search results screen. The number of filter categories displayed will depend on the initial search. Some of the most popular filters are selecting a range of publication dates, the availability (print or online materials, and peer reviewed items), and the format.

filter categories screenshot

Click on the filter name to immediately update your search with that filter activated. You can also select the checkbox ✅ to the LEFT of a filter to include it, and then continue to select other filters you would like to activate. When you are finished selecting all of the filters you need, click on "Apply Filters" at the bottom of the filter area to update your search results. 

catalog filter screencap

Note the active checkmark and the "exclude" checkmark when using filters.

Alternatively, you can immediately exclude categories of items from your search by clicking the red, crossed-out checkmark to the RIGHT of a filter.

You may remove filters or reset your filter selections at the top of the "Filter" column, and also lock filters to keep them activated for subsequent searches.

Can't Find What You Need?

1) OneSearch won't search all of the library's research databases. In-depth research on a topic may still require searching individual databases on our CCC database page.

2) In terms of books, if you can't find what you need in any SCCCD library, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request to get a title not owned by our system's libraries.

3) Ask a librarian for help; you can drop in, call, email, chat online, or Zoom with a librarian! Check out your research help options on the library page.