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AFRS 325: The Black Male

Advanced Searching

Your searchable topics are informed by your assignment prompt. Consider the following example using the Advanced search function in OneSearch:

Figure 1:

Screen capture of an advanced search using the subject term "Black men" with the the "is (exact) function highlighted, and the subject term "masculinity".

Figure 1 illustrates multiple techniques to increase the relevance of your search results by using:

  • subject searching to ensure your results are reasonably ABOUT your search terms
  • the "is (exact)" function from the drop menu to ensure that multiple words are searched as a single term
  • the boolean operator "AND" to pull results that contain both sets of terms

Figure 2:

Screen cap of an article search in OneSearch highlighting the subject terms in the catalog record that were picked up from an advanced search of those subjects.

Figure 2 illustrates a catalog record produced by the subject search using the search terms "Black men" and "masculinity". Note how these terms appear in the subjects assigned to the resource, assuring that the resource is sufficiently about the search terms used in the search. 

Think outside the box.

Thought bubble inside Internet box.

Before you search, consider the fundamental requirements of the information you seek:

What is your topic? Are there multiple terms to describe it? Use Button labeled "Advanced Search"  to search a specific topic, OR look for your topic (or similar terms) under the 'Topic' filter in the "Refine my results" toolbar of One Search.

Image of the "refine my results" toolbar with three "Articles", "Civil Rights Activists", and "Peer-reviewed Journals" filters applied.

What kinds of sources are required? Check your assignment prompt and set up Advanced Search to display specific formats of information such as books, journal articles, videos, etc. You can also apply the filters from the "Refine my results" toolbar. 

Must your sources be peer-reviewed? Look for the term "peer-reviewed" in your results list, OR filter your results to display only articles from peer-reviewed journals.

How recent must your sources be? Three to seven years is a general window for recent sources. Sciences will be shorter. Use the left toolbar to limit the years for which your source must be published.

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