Keyword Search

Using the Keyword search box in OASIS can be a very powerful and effective search tool. A simple Keyword search will look for words in many fields displayed in the Title Details and can be a good substitute for a subject search when you do not know the subject heading form, or there is no adequate subject heading.

The chart below provides a few search options with operators which can be used in the Keyword search box:

lcsubjects:xxxx lcsubjects:nanotechnology
lcclass:[xxxx TO xxxx] lcclass:[RA1190 TO RA1270]
nlmcode:[xxxx TO xxxx] nlmcode:[WD400 TO WD430]
dewey:xxx dewey:726
dewey:[xxx TO xxx] dewey:[726.5 TO 726.599]
title:xxxx title:obama
title:”xxx xxxx” title:”steve jobs”
author:xxxx author:transtromer
author:xxxx title:"xxx xxxx" author:bronte title:"wuthering heights"
publisher:”xxx xxxx” publisher:”oxford university”
xxx NOT publisher:"xxx xxxx" nanotechnology NOT publisher:"CRC Press"
Basic Boolean operators may also be used to include or exclude specific terms.
Search Strategies:

Use Boolean search operators (AND and NOT) to do basic or more complex searches. For best results always use lower case for all keywords and upper case for all Boolean operators, except where otherwise noted.

The Boolean search operator AND is equal to the "+" symbol.  Use AND to narrow or restrict results to both or all of the keywords; a plus sign “+” can be used instead (you need a space before the plus sign and no space after)

  • example: music AND blues;

  • or, music +blues

  • Also, you can say nothing, e.g., music blues will do the same as the two above

The Boolean search operator NOT is equal to the "-" symbol.  Use NOT to restrict results by excluding keyword(s); a minus sign (-) can be used instead (you need a space before the minus sign and no space after)

  • example: music AND blues NOT composition;

  • or, music +blues -composition

Use a asterisk* to perform Wildcard Searches on words with various endings

  • star can be used to truncate a word when only the root word/stem is known.
  • For example: admin* will return: administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.

Group adjacent words using quotation marks ”

  • “ ” quotes must be used around keywords you wish to search together

  • For example: “visual arts”

Group words in a title in parentheses ( ) or to group segments of a query for more complex searches

  • i.e. acid and (rain OR precipitation)

Group synonyms in parentheses joined with OR (xxx OR xxx)

  • i.e. (general OR Chrysler)AND detroit

n.b. there is no space before AND.

You may also combine your simple Keyword search with the various identifiers to search in specific fields, such as Title, Author, Publisher, LC, NLM or Dewey classifications, and ISBN.

An easy use of the examples above is to copy and paste an option into the keyword search box then replace the terms with your own.

Numeric Range Searches for classifications:

  • use the word TO in caps and square brackets [ ] to enclose the desired range

  • i.e. lcclass:[E183 TO E185] 


  • i.e. nlmcode:[WD400 TO WD430]

  • i.e. dewey:[300 TO 310] 

 Title Search:

  • i.e. title:(earthquake survival) – looks for both words within the title

  • i.e. title:”earthquake survival” – looks for adjacent words within the title

Author Search:

  • enter all or part of an author’s name

  • i.e. author:santoro

  • i.e. author:santoro Emilio

  • i.e. author:Emilio santoro

LC Subject Headings Search:

  • i.e. lcsubjects:dna genetics genomics

  • i.e. lcsubjects: DNA Repair--genetics

The LC subjects field does not require an exact match.  It is a keyword search within the universe of LC Subject Headings