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SearchWiSE User's Guide: Search Query Help

Search tips and strategies for using SearchWiSE

Boolean Operators

SearchWiSE offers the following Boolean operations: AND, OR, NOT, +, -

The use of these ALL CAPS characters can be used to make queries more specific. By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. 

To expand the results set, use the OR operator: microcircuits OR nanocircuits will return items that contain either term.  

This can be combined with phrases such as “teacher education” OR “educator training.” 

Use the “+” character directly before a term to indicate that it must be included in the results. When searching for “snow +cold OR avalanche” the word “cold” will be included in all results.  

To exclude items in Summon, use the NOT operator or “-” character before a term. When used in the following query “animal NOT dog” the results will not include the term “dog.” 


Searches within SearchWiSE can be performed using the wildcards ? and *

The question mark (?) will match any one character and can be used to find “Olsen” or “Olson” by searching for “Ols?n.”

The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. A search for “Ch*ter” would match “Charter,” “Character,” and “Chapter.” When used at the end of a word, such as “Temp*,” it will match all suffixes “Temptation,” “Temple” and “Temporary.” 

 Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.

Searching Specific Fields

The single search box in SearchWiSE (basic search box or keyword search box in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically. For example, entering an ISBN, ISSN, or Call Number will bring back associated records.

You can explicitly search a field using the syntax: “field:(query).” For example, the search ISSN:(1234-5678), finds records that contain that value in the ISSN field.

Searchable fields:

  • Title
  • SubjectTerms
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • PublicationTitle
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Language
  • Notes
  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • DOI

Other Search Tips

Enclose phrases in quotes to retrieve words next to each other in the specified order:  “citizen journalism” 

Proximity to Other Words: 

Enclose your search terms in quotes and use the tilde (~) followed by a number. Example: “yeast bread”~10 finds material where “yeast” and “bread” appear within 10 words of each other in the specified order. 

Search a Range: 

Use the { } characters to indicate a search range in SearchWiSE. When used on the years {2006 TO 2008} any instance of 2006, 2007, or 2008 will be returned. 

Include Similar Terms in the Search

Use the tilde (~) character at the end of a word to match words that look similar. When used on the term “Lead~” it will match “Wead,” “Veade,” and “Tead.” 

An additional parameter can specify the required similarity. Select a value between 0 and 1, values closer to 1 indicate a higher similarity. For example: lead~0. If the parameter is not supplied, the default is 0.5.