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LibrarySearch Help

This guide provides information on the different ways you can use LibrarySearch to locate print and electronic resources.

Find an Exact Phrase

To search for an exact phrase put quotations marks around the first and last words of the phrase. For example: "Japanese popular culture."  This will give you results that only include items with that exact phrase.

LibrarySearch exact phrase searching

Narrow Your Search with AND

AND – retrieves results that have all the specified terms. So a search for apples AND oranges will only retrieve results that have apples and oranges in the results. It is a useful way to narrow your search. ***Be sure "AND" is in all caps.

LibrarySearch using the Boolean operator AND

Expand Your Search with OR

OR – retrieves results with at least one of the search terms. So a search for America OR United States will retrieve results that include either the terms America or United States or both. *** Be sure "OR" is in all caps.

LibrarySearch with Boolean operator OR

Limit Your Search with NOT

NOT – excludes any search results that includes the specified term. It is most useful to use NOT when trying to eliminate irrelevant results. So a search for Mexico NOT Mexico City will give you results related to Mexico, but will not include results about Mexico City. ***Be sure "NOT" is in all caps.

LibrarySearch with Boolean operator NOT

Using Wildcard Characters

? - enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women, and so forth.

Wildcard search example with a question mark in place of a letter

* - enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally.

Wildcard search example with an asterix in place of a letter

Note: The system ignores wildcard characters placed at the beginning of search terms. For example, the system treats the search terms ?aying and *aying as if you had searched for aying.

Using Filters

After doing a search in LibrarySearch, you will see a list of results including books, articles, journals, and videos. If you have a large number of results, it is helpful to narrow down your search results. On the left side of the screen under "Refine my results" are a number of filters you can use to refine your search. Below is a description of the available filters, please note that not all searches will provide all these possible filters.

LibrarySearch filters

You can also use the filters to exclude certain things from your search. You can click on the red crossed-out check box to exclude specific filters from your search.

Red crossed-out check boxes next to filters allow you to exclude them from your search.

Filters Explained

Filtering by "Availability" allows you to look only at results that are available in the format you are looking for. For example, if you are only looking for materials available at the UO, you can select "Available at UO." Or if you only want electronic resources available at the UO, you can select "UO eResources." 

Screenshot of Availability Filter

Filtering by "Resource Type" allows you to look only at results that best fit the format you want. For example, if you are only interested in book chapters, select Book Chapters under "Resource Type" by clicking your choice. Select "Show More" to see other options.

Image shows screenshot of Resource Type and where you go to filter by type.

Filter by the person or entity that created the item. This can be tricky to use if the author you are interested in has a common name.

Image shows screenshot of Author/Creator filter.

If you are looking for an item at a specific library location (Knight, Price Science Commons, Law Library, etc). Use the "Library" filter to see only requests located at that library location.

Screenshot of Library Filter

Sometimes you know that you are looking for information from a certain time period. For example, you might want only current information. If this is the case, type years into the boxes and select "Refine". 
Screenshot of Date Filter

If you are seeing a lot of results that are unrelated to the topic you are looking for, use the subject filter to refine your results to more relevant items. If you do not see a useful subject filter, click the "More options" link to see additional options.

Screenshot of Subject Filter.

The "Collection" filter refers to electronic resources only and describes the databases that hold the items in your search results. This is a clue that you may want to do more searching in that collection because it is quite relevant to your search.

Screenshot of Collection Filter

The "Language" filter is helpful if you are seeing a lot of results in a language you are unable to read. You can narrow to one language by clicking the box next to that language. If you would like to select multiple languages, click "more options" and click the boxes in the "include" column that most closely match your needs.

Screenshot of Language Filter.

Genre/Form is a more specific type of format filter than the "material" facet at the top. It will allow you to indicate the type of book or other item most relevant to you.

Screenshot of Genre/Form Filter

The "Journal Title" facet allows you to narrow down article results by which journal they are in. This is useful if you want to know which journals to follow in your field of interest.

Screenshot of Journal Title Filter.

Removing Filters

Sometimes you select a filter that is unhelpful in refining your search. To delete a filter, find the small x next to the name of the filter and word at the top of your list of results (see image). Click that x and it will delete that filter.
Screenshot show how to remove filters.

Creating Persistent Filters

After you perform a search and select your left facets/filters, you can make those permanent!

You will see the filters you selected here:

Active Filters

You then need to hover over the facet/filter and click on the “lock” icon:

persistent filters

locked filters

As noted, this makes the filter persistent throughout your session. A word of warning – don’t forget you have this turned on! If you are not seeing the array of items you were expecting, make sure you have unchecked the lock icon. Clicking “Reset filters” does not remove locked facets.

Identifying and Finding Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Articles and Books

What are characteristics of scholarly sources?

In general, scholarly sources:

  • Are written by an author with an advanced degree, i.e., a college professor
  • Are written for an academic audience
  • Contain a credible list of citations/references
  • Include in-text citations
  • Often contain an abstract, literature review, methodology, results, or discussion
  • May or may not be "Peer Reviewed"

How can I tell if a source is scholarly?

  • Articles published in scholarly journals which cover academic and scientific research. Scholarly journals are often referred to as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" journals. Journals can also be scholarly or academic, but not have the extra level of quality control known as "peer review."

  • Books are not "peer-reviewed," like articles. Instead, they are written by academic scholars, and edited and published (most often) by academic or university presses, e.g.: Routledge, IGI Global, or Oregon State University Press.

  • A book review can also indicate if the book is scholarly. Use LibrarySearch to find reviews of books.

  • When in doubt, ask a librarian!

​​​​What does it mean when scholarly journals are peer-reviewed?

  • Some academic or scholarly journals go through an extra process called "Peer Review" before they are published. These are considered the highest quality of academic journal sources because other scholars in the same field as the author (the author's "peers") review their work.
  • To check, you can look up the journal in our database called Ulrichsweb (link below). Look for the referee jersey icon to indicate that a journal (and the articles in it) is peer-reviewed.

How do I search for and find scholarly sources?

Articles in LibrarySearch 

Search in LibrarySearch* or library databases for articles and limit results by "academic sources" or "peer-reviewed sources." 

Screenshot of LibrarySearch search for alcohol restrictions by state. The search is highlighted by a green box with an arrow pointing toward the applied search filters: "Peer-reviewed Journals" and "Articles." The annotation overload on this screenshot notes "There are 26,185 articles in my search results, but only 21,844 of those articles are from scholarly "Peer-Reviewed Journals"

*LibrarySearch includes search results from many of the UO Libraries database subscriptions.

Articles in a Database

Databases often have a "Scholarly" or "Peer Review" filter option too. Here's an example from one of our EBSCO databases: 

Screenshot of Academic Search Premier (an EBSCO database) with the search terms highlighted in a green box: alcohol AND (restrictions OR regulations) AND (state OR "United States"). A dark pink box shows there are 2,879 results and the filter applied is "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals." The annotation overlaid on this screen shot says, "There are 2,879 search results for this search, and 2,825 are from scholarly or academic journals that are 'Peer-reviewed' journals."


Search in LibrarySearch by title or keyword. Many of our books are "scholarly," but look for the name of the publisher to find an academic press, e.g., "Princeton University Press."

Screenshot of a LibrarySearch search for "alcohol restrictions by state" with the eBooks, Print Books, and Book chapters active filters to limit the search to those "Resource Types." The annotation overlaid on this screen shot says: 1. Select eBooks, Print Books, and Book Chapters from the "Resources Type" filter. Look for University Press publishers. If you want only print, select "Available at UO" or a Library location. 3. "UO eResources" will exclude eBooks we do not have access to.