Skip to Main Content

OHS Enrichment at OC Libraries

This guide provides general information for OHS Enrichment students about how to access and use the services at the Oberlin College library



Databases A to Z

Keyword Searching

Searching for library sources in Summon, OBIS or databases you will use keywords, words or phrases related to the main concepts of your research question.  Here is an online keyword generator to help you come up with effective keyword searches.

Boolean Logic









You will use Boolean Logic to join Key words to most effectively search for sources related to your research topic.  Following are three key principles of Boolean Logic to keep in mind when you search Summon, OBIS or any of the library databases:

AND - Dogs and Cats  This search will find all those items that refer to both dogs and cats.  "And" limits or narrows your search.

OR - Dogs or Cats  This search will find all those items that refer to just dogs, just cats and those containing both terms (dog and cat)                "Or" broadens your search.

NOT - Dogs not Cats  This search will find all items that have dog and exclude any that may also have the word cat.  "Not" limits your search.

One more search tip  - Use quotation marks around a set of words to search for an exact phrase such as "small dogs." Only those sources with the term "small dogs" will be found.  Quotation marks can help refine your search results.