Skip to Main Content
Ask CWU Libraries
CWU Libraries Home

DHC 401 - Honors Capstone Seminar



Search Operators

Incorporating search operators into your search is a way to clarify, narrow, or broaden your search. Here are some tips you can use in your own 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 more highly
"The Color Purple" Looks for instances for the entire phrase "The Color Purple", and when those words exist in that order

 Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are used to narrow or broaden a search, they include AND, OR, and NOT. Using all-caps in OneSearch is important, and you'll get different results by using lowercase. Here are some examples of how to use boolean operators:

Fireworks AND Explosives  --- Returns instances where both "fireworks" and "explosives" are mentioned in the record

Fireworks OR Explosives   --- Returns instances where either "fireworks" or "explosives" are mentioned in the record

Fireworks NOT Explosives --- Returns instances of the word "fireworks, but not where "explosives" is included in the record


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 and leave that space available to fill many characters.
Single character wildcards: ?

Search Example: wom?n --- searches for women or woman

Multi-character wildcards: *

Search Example: explain* = explained, explaining, etc.