Quick Search

Keyword Search

Keyword Search is useful when you want to locate articles and Internet sites based on your own combination of key words and phrases.

  1. Select the Quick Search tab and then select the Keyword option.


  2. Enter search term(s) and select Search. A Results list of the article titles that contain your keywords and/or phrases is returned.

  3. There are several ways to enhance your search, including the use of:

Search Options

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators -- AND, OR and NOT -- are used to establish relationships between key words and keyword phrases. These operators can be used to expand or narrow a search and must be typed in ALL CAPS.

Note: The AND operator is implied between each key word or phrase in a query that does not contain Boolean operators.  See Natural Language Search.


Truncation is a shortcut used to include alternate word endings in your query. This is a quick and easy way to include plurals, tense variations and alternate spellings.

To use Truncation, type an asterisk (*) after the root of your key word. For example, the query farm* returns articles that contain the words farm, farmed, farmer, farmers, farming, farmland, farmhouse, farms, etc.

Phrase Search

Phrase Search allows searching of article text for keyword phrases. The phrase must be enclosed in quotation marks to ensure that the entire phrase is searched for in its entirety, rather than the individual words in the phrase.

Entering the query "San Francisco" only returns articles that contain the phrase San Francisco, rather than articles that may include either word separately such as San Antonio, San Andreas Fault, Anthony Francisco Giacossa, etc.

Sorting Methods

Quick Search and Advanced Search offer the option of having results returned by relevance, date or Lexile ascending or Lexile descending order.


Articles that contain the most matches of key words or phrases in your search are returned first.

Date Order

Articles that contain the key words or phrases in your search are returned in reverse chronological order, with the most recent articles in the database first.

Lexile Ascending

Articles with the lowest Lexile score are displayed first.

Lexile Descending

Articles with the highest Lexile score are displayed first.

Note: This feature may be disabled by your system administrator. See System Administrator Options

Note: Internet Sites and Subject Heading indexes are sorted in Alphabetical order. Subject Heading search results are returned in reverse chronological order.

  1. Enter search term(s) and select Search. A Results list of the article titles that contain your key words and/or phrases is returned. Select Internet Sites for a list of Internet sites returned.

Hint: If your search produces no results, a list of alternate words or spellings is provided by which to resubmit your search. A Search Dictionary button provides direct lookup of your key word via the dictionary, for spelling verification.

Note: Citation, Bibliographic source information, summaries, descriptors and graphics are accessible from the article title list as well as from within full-text articles. Graphics and summaries are not available for every article in the SIRS Knowledge Source database.