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WSU 102 Superheroes Go to School

This research guide is designed to assist in the fulfillment of curriculum and projects related to First-Year Seminar: Superheroes Go to School

Using Smart Search at the University Libraries

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.)

Advanced Search Features in Smart Search

If you use the advanced search feature in Smart Search, you might want to make use of some more advanced search strategies, including AND/OR/NOT (also known as Boolean operators)

AND/OR/NOT (Boolean operators) 

Boolean searching is a great way to limit, widen and/or redefine your search. Therefore, it’s a great search method for complex research topics. AND/OR/NOT are known as Boolean operators and they’re used to define the relationship between your search terms.

  • “and” will narrow your results
  • “or” will expand your results
  • “not” will exclude terms from your results

Phrase Searching- using quotation marks

When quotation marks are used around a phrase (with 2 or more words), it ensures that the phrase will be searched for as a whole and the words won’t be searched separately in the database.

For more information about the types of searches you can do in Smart Search, see the documentation on this webpage (note: Summon is another name for Smart Search- it's the same system): Summon: Phrase, Field, Boolean, Wildcard, and Proximity Searching

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