Skip to Main Content

Keyword Boolean Searching: Home

OBIS advanced search

For more information see Search Tips at the bottom of the Advanced search page. 

Subject searching vs. keyword searching

"Keywords" are distinctive words describing your topic. Avoid common words; unique terms give better results.

Search by "subject" to focus your results. For example, a keyword search for Performance Art includes titles with the correct words but the wrong meaning:

A subject search for performance art lists titles about that specific subject. You can also see the breadth of material available on the topic:

Keyword searches: Using AND, OR and NOT

Books About Art

Want art but keep getting books on poetry, science, or another field?  Select Modify/Limit Search and then art library.  
You can limit results to all four Oberlin Libraries and departments as well. 
Under Limit search select art library:
You can limit results to all four Oberlin Libraries and departments, like Conservatory Special Collections, as well.

More about subject & keyword searching

Subjects link all synonyms to a single word or phrase.  For example, if I want to search for English Setters I could use: dogs, canines, hunting dogs, English dog breeds, etc.   The subject heading for this concept is Dogs – which includes these words as well as others I haven't thought of – and shows results in an organized list:

If I really only want books about English Setters then searching in Keyword for "english setters" might be a better choice. Keywords come from several parts of a record, not just the subject field; in the example below "english setters" was in the Note field.