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ENGL 102: College English II

Smart Search

What is SmartSearch? 

SmartSearch is a discovery search tool that allows users to search multiple databases and the library's online catalog to find the books, journal articles, videos, and other items that you are looking for. SmartSearch doesn't cover all of the databases that you have access to, but it does cover many of them. For a more concentrated search, it is beneficial to search our electronic databases individually that are relevant to your chosen subject and topic area.

When using SmartSearch, results may be refined by:

  • Availability in the library collection
  • Full text availability
  • Peer reviewed
  • Date
  • Source type (books, academic journals, magazines, trade publications, news, etc.)

Using Smart Search at the University Libraries

What are the similarities and differences between Google and Smart Search?

Smart Search Google

Smart Search primarily searches content that the library has access to either online or in print form. It searches the library catalog and multiple databases. Most online content in Smart Search is behind a paywall (databases that the library subscribes to so patrons can access the content), but some is open access (free, publicly available).

Google searches the open web (free, publicly available content), which is only a small percentage of all online content.

Smart Search allows you to use natural language in a search, so you can search with a phrase or question. In the results, you will see certain words have been bolded, which means Smart Search has identified them as important.

Google uses natural language, which allows users to search with phrases or questions, instead of keywords.

Smart Search has multiple filters that let you narrow and modify your search results. For example, you can limit results by content type, publication date, discipline, subject terms, database, and more.

Google has some tools that allow users to filter results, like content type (image, video, news, shopping, etc.) and time range.

Smart Search offers an advanced search feature if you want to do a search with specific keywords and Boolean operators (OR, AND, NOT).

Google offers an advanced search feature if you want to do a search with specific keywords and Boolean operators (OR, AND, NOT) (access “advanced search” under “settings”).

Smart Search has multiple filters that let you narrow and modify your search results. For example, you can limit results by content type, publication date, discipline, subject terms, database, and more.

Google has some tools that allow users to filter results, like content type (image, video, news, shopping, etc.) and time range.

By default, SmartSearch results are organized by relevance, but users can choose to have results organized by date, author, or title.

One of the tools Google uses to organize search results is its PageRank algorithm, which generally organizes results based on popularity (how often the sites are visited), not relevance or accuracy.

SmartSearch does not personalize results. Two users doing the exact same search in different locations will get the same results. Users do not need to log in to use SmartSearch (although they may have to log in to access the full-text of some library resources), so individual search histories are not recorded in the same way they are by Google.

Google results are personalized for users based on a number of factors, including search history, location, browser type, and IP address. This means that two people conducting the same search in different locations might see different results. It also means the results of future searches you do might be influenced by your search history.

 

SmartSearch Tutorial

This tutorial will show you how to search for articles using SmartSearch, a library search engine that provides results from a variety of different databases the University Libraries subscribes to. At the end of the tutorial, a certificate of completion will be provided for you. You will also be given the option to email your responses to yourself or retake the tutorial if you would like to. Click anywhere on the image to begin.

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