Basic Search Strategies

To increase the relevancy or precision of a search you can use any of the following basic search strategies. They are available in most search systems, but for the purpose of this tutorial they are illustrated with our library catalog.

Sorting Tag Tracking
Filtering Using Help Menus
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Sorting

Sorting is simply rearranging your results list. Results are usually sorted by relevance, but many search systems offer other options such as title, author, publication date, etc. This is useful, for example, when you are interested in locating the items with the earliest or most recent publication date. The example below highlights the sorting tool in the library catalog.

Example

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Filtering

Filtering limits your results list to items meeting specific criteria such as format, author, subject, publication year, etc. This is useful when you have too many results and are looking for sources in a particular subject or format, etc. The example below highlights the filtering pane in the library catalog.

Example

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Tag Tracking

Some search systems include tags assigned to an item's record. When you find a record that matches what you are looking for but still need more sources, you can click on the labels or tags assigned to the record. This will retrieve all records that have been assigned the same tag. The example below highlights the tags assigned to a record in the library catalog.

Example

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Using Help Menus

Most search systems include a help menu that explains how to best use the system. Such a menu usually includes descriptions of search strategies more advanced than those listed here. The example below highlights the help menu in the library catalog.

Examples

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