Skip to main content
OCLC Support

Before starting an advanced search

Learn about steps to take before using advanced search in FirstSearch.

Before starting your search, think about how you might define your information needs using key terms and the words AND, OR, and NOT.

  action example
1 Identify your search ideas. I need information on dogs and cats, but not about the various breeds.
2 Select key search terms. dog, cat
3 Browse the indexes to verify the spelling and format of any key terms. This is especially useful for checking name spelling variations. dog not dawg
4 Determine the relationships between terms. Use the plus sign (+) to indicate plurals. I want results to include dog and cat, but not breed.
5 Combine terms using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT). dog AND cat NOT breed