SI: Using OneSearch

Open CSI Library Homepage in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

About OneSearch

OneSearch combines in one place a massive index of books, articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers, and unique digital content.

OneSearch is a great tool for searching multiple library resources in a single interface.

Use OneSearch if you:

  • are looking for a specific title, whether an article or a book,
  • want a combination of books, articles, ebooks, etc. on a topic, or
  • are just starting your research.
By the end of this tutorial, you will know how to use OneSearch effectively for your research needs.

Getting Started

OneSearch is the default search on the CSI Library homepage [].  To start searching, simply type in your keyword or keyword phrase into the main search box. 

Remember to keep it simple and just add one or two keywords or phrases in your search, as OneSearch has built-in tools that will help you narrow down your topic.

When searching for a phrase, use quotation marks ensure that OneSearch is searching for your words in your specific order.  

Fun fact: this trick with quotation marks works in Google and other databases as well!


Test your skills: For the purposes of this tutorial, use OneSearch and enter the phrase "gun control"

How many results do you find?

OneSearch searches through a large portion of all of the library's holdings, so you will often receive thousands of results or more, depending on your search.

Limiting Your Search

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One of the most helpful things in OneSearch are the built-in tools to help you narrow down your search and find material to produce a more focused research paper.

One way to narrow down your search is by the type of resource you need. In the sidebar, the first option allows you to "Show Only" the following types of material: 

Peer-Reviewed Journals (for scholarly articles) 

Books (both ebooks and print books)

Items Currently on Shelf (print books)

Date Range

Topic/Subject (explore subtopics)


Limiting Your Search

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Limit your search by Peer-Reviewed Journals.  

You will notice that the articles about "gun control" have a more academic tone to them. Peer-reviewed journal articles are scholarly articles written by an professor or academic author. If your professor says you need to reference "academic articles" in your paper, you will find this type of article by limiting the results to peer-review.

What does limiting to "peer-review" in OneSearch do?


Limiting Your Search

3 of 4Try some more techniques!

Limit your search by Topic/Subject.

A great way to help narrow down your topic for a more focused research paper is to use the "Topic/Subject" option.  This provides links to material related to the keyword or phrase you entered.  It often gives you ideas for an aspect of your topic to hone in on, as well as related terms or synonyms.  

Limit your search by Date.

When researching a current event or controversial topic in the news, it is often best to limit your search by date to get the most current resources available.  

In the current search results, the first few hits in your search may be material from many years ago.  If your topic were about gun control issues happening THIS YEAR, you would need to change your date range.

Try it: type in the current year in the date range boxes, then hit refine. You will see the search results change to only articles published this year.


Limiting Your Search

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 How to read an article...

If you wish to read an article, click on Full Text Available.  This will open up a new window in the database that contains the article.  Depending on the database, you should see links the read the article in full-text (HTML or PDF) and possible an abstract, which is a summery paragraph about the article.

NOTE: If  you are off campus, you will be asked to enter your SLAS log-in after clicking on Full Text Available.  

One of the most helpful options available in your search results are the icons on the top right. The quote symbol (") will show you that source in a number citation styles, though you should double check for accuracy. The envelope symbol allows you to email yourself the source, and the pin symbol allows you to save the source. Click on the three dots to show other sharing options.  





Please take this short quiz to test what you learned.

At the end of the quiz:

A). either print the results, or grab a screenshot, or take a photo of your results


B). Enter your email address and forward your results to your professor. Multiple emails will not work even though it says it does!


OneSearch lets you search in one place for:

Where would you go on the library home page to see if we have a book for class?


How would you limit your search in OneSearch to locate scholarly journal articles?

What is a peer-reviewed article?


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


What did you think of this tutorial?