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Refine Your Search

Too many hits?

  • Don't use the General Search box. Refine your search using keywords in the title or author field if possible. Remember, the database has more than 222,000 documents to search.
  • Limit the search by date. The database covers literature dating back to the 1960s and earlier.
  • Use more specific words. Words such as "crime" or "police" will retrieve too much.
  • Choose an ALL or PHRASE search instead of an ANY search.


Not enough hits?

  • Use fewer terms. Too many terms can restrict a search.
  • Choose an ANY search instead of an ALL or PHRASE search.
  • Change one of the terms to a broader one. For example, replace "juvenile gangs" with "gangs."
  • Use synonyms or related words with an ANY search.
  • Use the "wildcard," include the pulural forms of words by typing an asterisk (*) after the search term(s). For example, "prison*" will find "prison," "prisons," "prisoners," and other words with the root word "prison".
  • Look for misspellings in the search terms.


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