PowerSearch: More Information

Frequently asked questions

Search strategy help

Phrase Searching

  • PowerSearch allows for phrase searching with the use of quotation marks “ ”. The query “music therapy” will find results with that exact phrase.

Wildcard Use

  • Searches within PowerSearch can be performed using the wildcards “?” and “*”.
  • The question mark (?) will match any one character. For example, wom?n will retrieve woman or women.
  • The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters at the end of a word.  For example, politic* will retrieve politic, politics, political, politician, etc.
  • Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.

Boolean Operators

  • PowerSearch supports the use of the following Boolean operations: OR, NOT.
  • By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator.
  • The operators must be entered in ALL CAPS to be recognized as Boolean operators rather than search terms.
  • The OR operator can be used to expand the results set.  For example, survey OR questionnaire, will return items that contain either term.
  • Use quotation marks to specifically search for phrases such as “middle ages”.
  • To exclude items in PowerSearch, use the NOT operator before a term. For example: engines NOT combustion. The results will not include the term “combustion”.

Searching Specific Fields

  • The single search box in PowerSearch will search across many fields automatically.  Or you can search a particular field by using the syntax: “field:(query).” For example, a search for subjectterms:(mainstreaming in education), finds records that contain that particular subject heading.

Searchable fields:

  • Title
  • SubjectTerms
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • PublicationTitle
  • Notes
  • ISBN
  • ISSN

Browser Support

  • PowerSearch supports the following browsers and phones:
  • Internet Explorer 6.0+
  • Firefox 3.6.0+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Chrome (stable version)
  • iPhone 2.0+
  • BlackBerry 8500+
  • Android 1.0+