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SWK 350 - Social Work Research and Assessment: Home

Searching and Sources

Searching the Catalog

The following is a list of potential key phrases and terms potentially useful for searching in our catalog:

  • At-Risk / Vulnerable / Underserved Populations
  • Loss / Death / Bereavement Support
  • Rural / Urban Social Work Practice
  • Social Exclusion
  • Addictive Behavior
  • Community assessment
  • Adolescents / Pediatrics / Children
  • Gerontology / Aged / Elderly populations
  • Narrative Social Work
  • Evidence-based Practice

Use these together in searches to limit or expand search results. Try searching with quotations to transform the keywords into a single phrase. Also, try searching subject-indexed searches like the following (copy and paste into the catalog search):

su:College students Mental health services

These are the results you get when you click on the subject headings in the description section of a record. Experiment with the AND/OR/NOT operators to refine results like the following.

Click on the Peer Reviewed option within the catalog to refine to scholarly, academic journal articles.

Searching Journals

Try using our Browzine Web feature to search for relevant journals, allowing users to browse articles specific to the publication theme. For example, search for the journal Journal of College Student Development. Users can change volume/issue and browse the articles for this publication.


Search our Resources

Welcome to Hackelmeier Memorial Library's Guide to Library Resources. Use this resource page for information on numerous topics related to library sources and services available to the Marian University community. Search below for full-text, electronic articles and physical items we have in the library.

Constructing a Search

As opposed to using general search engines, it is not enough to find scholarly content through basic keyword searches. Library catalog holdings will not be indexed on the open Web, so when searching there are several ways to help retrieve varied and specific results rather than using keywords.

Using index values is a great way to help develop a structured and specific search. Indexes are sections of records that are very specific, having certain standard values that identify certain characteristics of items they represent. The following values can be used to help refine or expand search results based on the index value of a part of the topic/item desired.

Values for Searching:

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators are helpful tools to expand or refine multiple keywords in a search. When searching our catalog, it is recommended to capitalize the operators. The operators include:

  • AND - a connector between terms. This shows how many results contain each the desired terms, resulting in a small result list. ex: eagles AND condors AND California
  • OR - an expander of retrieved results. This will generate a list containing all results lumped together for each term searched. Ex. Diabetes OR cancer OR america.
  • NOT - a value that excludes any unwanted results from a desired result set. Ex. chemistry NOT inorganic

Useful Index Values

  • au: author search. Use last name, first when searching. Use = to search as a phrase Ex: au=Steinbeck, John. The colon searches individual keywords.
  • yr: year. Use to limit results for content published (or reprinted) within certain years. Ex. au=Steinbeck, John AND yr:1939
  • """" (quotation marks): phrase searching, differentiates keywords from phrases, will search groups of text as a whole. Ex. "The Grapes of Wrath" or "organic chemistry"
  • su: subject headings:  searches subjects found within records of records, not necessarily records of individual items. Ex. su:Migrant agricultural laborers Fiction.
  • * (asterisk) - this value is a "wildcard" marker to help find variations of words or phrases, especially if they are difficult or time consuming to spell. Ex. ti=On the revolutions of h* AND au:coper*
  • () (parentheses) - terms placed within parentheses help locate additional subsets of information within an overall specific search. Ex. ("native american" OR "american indian" OR Indian) AND "north america"  AND treaties
  • pb: publisher. Ex. pb:Oxford Uni*

The helpful thing about these indicators is that they can be used creatively or interchangeably in searches to provide a suitably broad or very specific set of results depending on the topic. It is up to the researcher to experiment with terms they come across (both popular and scholarly) in their studies to find the best strategy to get the most relevant results. Click here to find more indicators, indexes and values that could be of use when searching our catalog.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Looking for an article that is not available in a library database?  The library will attempt to get a copy for you.

Interlibrary Loan Request Form

See the library website for more information on Interlibrary Loan policies and procedures.