Finding Information #1 – Quickfind Advanced Search

Did you know that QUT Library’s Quickfind searches over 80% of all the resources available at QUT? If you are looking for a book, journal article, report or newspaper article this is a great first place to look!

Quickfind’s Advanced Search can help you find information you need efficiently. You can find the Advanced Search underneath the Quickfind Search Bar.

QUT Library Homepage with advanced search icon highlighted.

Once you are in the Advance Search screen type your keywords into the search boxes. To search efficiently, put each concept or keyword on a different line and choose the right Search Operators to separate the lines. After you’ve entered your keywords you can refine your results further by selecting certain publication years to look at or by choosing the content type you want to focus on, such as articles or books. Advanced Search also allows you to select peer reviewed sources as another option to refine your results. By refining your search using the Advanced Search you will save time and get to relevant results faster, woo!

Here are our top tips to get the most out of advanced searches –

  1. Speak the database’s language. Figure out your keywords and synonyms first and how link them with search operators used by the database so it can understand exactly what you are looking for.
  2. Look for ‘search tips’ or ‘help’ buttons within the database to identify your database’s preferred search operators.
  3. Don’t be afraid to change your search strategy. Look in your results for other keywords or synonyms you can use and try different keywords and combinations.
  4. Try new things. Change the field you are searching in. If you are getting too many results from searching All Fields, try searching for your keywords just within the abstract, or look for a particular author.

Contact your information experts for more assistance with using Quickfind’s Advanced Search.

Search tips: Wildcards, Truncation, and Boolean – What do they all mean?

You may be aware of the simple search strategy we librarians like to call Boolean. It’s a form of database logic which can help connect your keywords together when you search in a database.

The three basic Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT and you can use these to broaden or narrow your search.

For example:

Puppies AND kittens – results containing those two keywords

Puppies OR kittens – broadens results

(Puppies AND kittens) NOT dogs – narrows results

There are extra tools you can use to help refine your search strategy, these are called wildcards and truncation.

Truncation help by broadening your keyword search by attaching to the root of a word, this is usually done by adding an asterisk to the end of the root of a word.

For example:

Child* = children, children’s, child’s, childhood

Wildcards are useful when multiple spellings of a word can affect your search. Remember, the symbol of the wildcard may change depending on which database you use.

For example:

coloni?e = colonise, colonize

 Wom!n = woman, women

If you want to read further about this, take a look at one of our resources to help you Think Like a Computer and bring your research to the next level.