Library Basic Search FAQ

In the area where the grey words "Search books, articles, images, and more..." appear. Click your mouse arrow in there and you will see the cursor begin to blink, then you can start typing in your search term(s).
That arrow indicates that there is a list of choices, "Keyword," "Title," or "Author." If you know that the search terms you want to use would be indexed as part of a title or author's name, you may specify that by choosing from the drop-down menu. The default is "Keyword" because all indexed terms are considered keywords, meaning you'll get the most results to choose from. 
If you want to search for a specific type of resource (like just articles, just books), then your best bet is to use Advanced Search. When using advanced search, you can specify which types of materials you want to find -- all while still searching by keyword, title, or author. 

If you want to search by more than one parameter (say, title and author), Advanced Search is your friend! Advanced Search also lets you search for a specific type of materials, like articles or books, instead of searching for all types of materials. If you have a clear idea of what you want to find, using Advanced Search can help you get to it faster. 

After you do a search from the search box, the discovery service that works behind that box automatically returns results in the Advanced Search interface, so you can refine the results more efficiently. Our discovery service is run by EBSCO, a vendor for library databases and other materials.

Because Sherratt Library wants for everyone to be able to use the discovery service (even if they aren't SUU students, faculty, or staff), guest entry is provided by default. When you see the login prompt, this means that you are on guest access.

If you are a student, faculty, or staff and you've already authenticated through the portal, all you have to do is click the part of the link that says, "Login for full access." Then, a cookie is placed in your browser that carries your SUU credentials to items you find that are available only for SUU students, faculty, and staff. If you haven't logged in yet, you will get the familiar SUU login, and you can authenticate then as well. Either way, your SUU credentials grant you full-text access to a wide array of articles, eBooks, and more.

The search box on the library homepage searches hundreds of different sources for your search terms. Because it searches through so many resources, the results you receive back are probably many, many more than you want or need! Those check boxes in the Advanced Search interface are there to help you refine the results to focus on the ones that are most relevant to you. While many of them are self-explanatory, check the Help link in the upper right-hand corner for in-depth explanations of tips, tricks, and shortcuts in the Advanced Search interface.

  • To get the most accurate results, put your search terms "in quotation marks."
    • Example: "National parks"
  • Use the Boolean operators AND / OR to create searches.
    • Example: "National parks" AND "Utah"  will produce results that include both "national parks" and "Utah" as keywords.
    • Example: "National parks" AND "Utah" OR "Colorado" will produce results that include both "national parks" and "Utah" or "national parks" and "Colorado" as keywords. "National parks" AND "Utah" AND "Colorado" would produce results that include "national parks," "Utah," and "Colorado" as keywords.
  • If you already know the title and author of the resource you're looking for, use Advanced Search and search by both title and author. Basic Search (what you see on the library homepage) only allows you to search by one of those terms at a time.
  • If you're having trouble finding results that meet your needs, talk to a librarian! We're always happy to help.