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Using OneSearch

A Bit About Search Rank

Like any search engine, OneSearch attempts to prioritize items that might be of more interest to you. In order to do that, it prioritizes:

  • Subjects (subjects get more weight in a search than adjectives or descriptions)
  • Instances where your search terms appear in the title

Another way you can prioritize your search results is to select a subject discipline when you first begin your search. This doesn't eliminate any results, but does prioritize the results that are most related to that subject.



Scholarly Ranking

Something to keep in mind when searching articles is that OneSearch uses a scholarly ranking system to prioritize your results page. It attributes a scholarly ranking score that highlights items based on:

  • recency
  • presence of peer review
  • frequency of being citated

Search Operators

Search operators help clarify, narrow, or broaden a search. Here are tips for using them in your searches:


Quotes can be used to identify and search for a specific phrasing of words strung together. Quotes can be very useful for searching titles. For example,

The Color Purple Searches all instances of the term "color" and "purple", ranking instances where they are together higher
"The Color Purple"    Looks for instances for the entire phrase "The Color Purple", and when those words exist in that order

Boolean Operators

These narrow or broaden a search. Using all-caps in OneSearch is important; you'll get different results by using lowercase.

Puppy AND Kitten  --- Returns instances where both "puppy" and "kitten" are mentioned in the record

Puppy OR Kitten  --- Returns instances where either "puppy" or "kitten" are mentioned in the record

Puppy NOT Kitten --- Returns instances of the word "puppy", but not where "kitten" is included in the record

Created by the librarians at Northwest Arkansas Community College Library. See their guide for other search hacks:


Wildcards can be used to allow for multiple characters in a word. You use a wildcard operator to replace a character in a word, or a word ending.
Single character wildcards: ?

Example: wom?n = women or woman

Multi-character wildcards: *

Example: explain* = explained, explaining, etc.