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Search Tips & Tricks

What is QuickSearch? 

Our Quicksearch function allows you to search all of the physical and most of the online resources available through the University of Wyoming (UW) Libraries, including:

  • Books
  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Articles
  • Audio and video recordings
  • UW theses & dissertations
  • UW special collections & archival materials
  • UW scholarly & creative works
  • UW Digital Collections
  • Government documents
  • Course reserves
  • Research guides created by librarians

 Some electronic or digital resources may not be accessible through QuickSearch. 

What if I can’t find what I need in QuickSearch?

Additional resources may be accessible from Databases A-Z or Digital Collections. Research Guides can help you locate the best resources for your research. Through Prospector and InterLibrary Loan, you can request resources from other libraries.

When should I use the tabs around QuickSearch?

Use QuickSearch to search across most physical and online library resources in one search. QuickSearch is an excellent place to start your research, explore a topic, find known items, or research interdisciplinary topics. You can access many full-text articles and ebooks from QuickSearch.

  • Use Databases A-Z for more focused searching, when you already know the name of a specialized database in your field, to find databases in a specific subject area, or to search for articles.
  • Use eBooks & eJournals when you want to limit your search to journals, articles, and/or ebooks available full-text online. Physical resources aren’t available in this search.
  • Use Research Guides to help you find the best resources (selected by librarians) in a subject area, or to find help from a librarian.
  • Use the Classic Catalog to limit your search to physical and online books, journals, and audiovisual resources. Article titles aren’t available in the Classic Catalog.
  • Use the Course Reserves tab to find the resources selected by your instructor(s) for a specific course.
  • Use InterLibrary Loan to request resources that the UW Libraries does not subscribe to or own.
  • Use Prospector to search and request resources from many academic and public libraries in Colorado.

Phrase Searching
To search a phrase in QuickSearch, put the phrase in quotation marks: “ “
For example, “short term memory”

Basic Search
The single search box in QuickSearch (basic search box or All Fields keyword search box in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically.

Boolean Operators
QuickSearch offers the following Boolean operators: AND, OR and NOT in both Basic and Advanced Search. The operators must be in ALL CAPS in Basic Search.

By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. To expand the results set, use the OR operator. For example, microcircuits OR nanocircuits will return items that contain either term.

You can combine Boolean operators with phrase searches. For example, "teacher education" OR "educator training".

To exclude items in QuickSearch, use the NOT operator or - character before a term. For example, animal NOT dog, the results will exclude the term dog.

Wildcard Use in QuickSearch
The wildcards ? and * are available in QuickSearch.

The question mark (?) will match any one character. For example, a search for Ols?n will find both Olsen and Olson.

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.

Advanced Search
Advanced Search offers many options for a more precise search. You can search for terms within a specific field, such as Author, Title, Publication Title, and many more. You may also apply limits, such as content type, full text online, and more.

Refining Your Search
If you retrieve too many results, try one or more of the following strategies:
  • Add more search terms
  • Try more specific search terms
  • Use Advanced Search to search terms by specific fields and apply limits
  • Use the filters on the left side of the results screen to narrow your search by publication date range, content type, scholarly & peer-reviewed items, full text, or other criteria
If your search retrieves too few or no results, try one or more of the following strategies:
  • Check for spelling errors
  • Remove terms from your search
  • Check the box to “Add results beyond your library’s collection”
  • Try searching a subject-specific database
  • For known items not found in QuickSearch, search in Prospector or submit an InterLibrary Loan request
For additional help, contact us at



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