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ENEG 1031 - Fundamentals of Engineering (Belfadel, Macwan, Zabinski): Optimize Your Research

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Step 1: The Search Box

Start on the Library Homepage by entering your search phrase into the All tab.

A screenshot of the search box on the Library homepage with the All tab highlighted and the search "healthcare reform" AND "united states" typed into the search box

Pro tip: Put quotation marks around phrases to ensure that the exact phrase is populated in the results and not the individual words. Also use AND to make sure two separate keywords or phrases are connected in the search results.

Step 2: Source Type

Once you run your initial search, you will notice that there are A LOT of results.

A screenshot of the results page for "healthcare reform" AND "united states" with almost 150,000 results

Let's refine those a little bit. First, let's choose only the source types we want to look at. Click on the Source Type drop down and select the source types that you want to look at. Let's go with Books and Book Chapters to start. Click Apply Filters

A screenshot of the filters on the left side of the results page with the checkboxes next to books and book chapters selected under Source Type, and an arrow highlighting the Apply Filters button

Now, the number of results our search yielded is less daunting.

A screenshot of the newest results for our search with fewer than 3,000 results

Step 3: Date Range

Perhaps we can get the number down a little lower though. In most research, it is important to look for what was published most recently or during a specific time period. Luckily, our catalog search allows you to refine your search results by date range. Click on the Year Published drop down to begin.

A screenshot of the results page with an arrow highlighting the Year Published filter on the left side of the screen

For this research, let's look at everything published in the last 10 years. Enter the year and click Use this Range

Screenshot of the Year Published filter set to filter to results published from 2009 to 2019

Now we've got even fewer fewer results to pick through!

A screenshot highlighting fewer than 2,000 results now that we've filtered to books and book chapters published within the past 10 years

Step 4: Finding e-Resources

Time is everything right? So here's how to find only the results that you can access online, right now. Under Show Only, select Available Online. Simple as that. This will hide any physical books that we have in the Library from the results.

A screenshot showing the Available Online checkbox under Show Only in the result filters on the left side of the page

Click here to learn more about how to use our e-book collection.

Step 5: Changing the Search

Let's say we want to delete any of the search refinements that we already set. For example, maybe we want to see both eBooks and physical books. Simply click the x next to any of the Active Filters to remove them.

A screenshot highlighting the X to delete active filters on the left side of the search results page

The search filters built into our Library Catalog search are a vital tool for helping you find the most relevant sources for your research, so play around with them and see how it can help with your topic!