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Search Tips for Omni & Library Databases

Unlike Google, library databases and the library's catalogue and discovery tool Omni don't automatically correct your spelling, find related terms, find all possible word endings, or combine your terms.

Here are some search tips that you can use to find articles and other resources when searching the Library's collection in Omni or using Library databases (such as ProQuest One Business or Business Source Complete):

  1. Make sure your spelling is correct. 
  2. Think of synonyms and related terms that could be used to describe your topic. 
  3. Combine your terms using Boolean operators (see below). 
  4. Refine your search by using special characters, such as quotation marks (see below).
  5. Use the search fields in the Advanced Search page. 
  6. Use search filters, such as publication date, subject, and type of resource. These are usually found on the left-hand menu of your search results.

Boolean Operators


Boolean Operators and, or, not, illustrated with Venn diagrams.

Basic Search Operators for Omni and Library Databases

Symbol Description Action Example


Boolean operator

Searches for articles that contain both terms.

economy AND finance


Boolean operator

Searches for articles that contain at least one of the terms.

enterprise OR business OR corporation

"  "

Quotation Marks

Search for articles that contain an exact phrase.

"corporate social responsibility"

* Asterisk Add to the root of a word to find alternate word endings. For example, use manag* to retrieve results with manage, manages, managing, management, managerial, manager, managers etc. 



(  )


Groups terms together to indicate the order in which the database should process any Boolean operators used. Terms in parentheses are processed first. If you do not use parentheses, most databases will process AND before OR. 

(management OR business) AND consulting

For more tips, including video tutorials, see Building your search strategy - Research for Essay Writing in English.

Citing Your Sources in APA Style