Exploring Smart Search

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Smart Search is a discovery tool that lets you search for books, e-books and articles at the same time.

If you are having problems with searching, follow these instructions to enable the content in your browser.

Fix Display Problems

In this tutorial, you will learn to:

  • Use basic keyword and phrase searches to find information
  • Narrow and limit your searches to improve your results
  • Use a variety of search tools

Tips for this tutorial

1) Keep your focus. Click on the "What's the point?" links to get more information at different stages of the tutorial. Try the one below:

What's the point?

2) Move through the tutorial. Click on Next or Previous arrow to move through the tutorial.

3) Answer the questions along the way.

4) Resize your screen to fully see the tutorial. Watch for scroll bars and use them to see all information.

5) If you are working off campus you will need to sign in with your student ID and PIN in order to complete this tutorial.

Searching in Smart Search

1 of 2

In the search box under the Smart Search tab, type offshore wind energy and click Go.

If you are off campus, sign in with your SRJC ID and PIN after you receive your search results.

QuestionHow many results did your search return?

Searching in Smart Search

2 of 2

Put quotation marks around the phrase: "offshore wind energy" and click on Go

The quotation marks let you search for a phrase, ensuring your search terms appear together, exactly as you’ve entered them.

What's the point?

QuestionHow do these results compare to the keyword search you performed?


Interpreting Search Results

Take a closer look at the result list from your phrase search.

Offshore Wind Energy

The Source Type icons circled in red identify material types.

Use Academic Journals to find scholarly articles. Select Magazines to find popular magazine articles.

What's the point?


Limiting and Refining Results

Search limiters are located to the left of the result list. Use limiters to narrow results by date, source type, subject, and database.

Play around with the available limiters to see how they change your search results.

The Full Text limiter guarantees you can see the entire article immediately.

The Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals limiter eliminates popular magazines and newspapers.

What's the point?

QuestionWhat limiters would you use to find current, scholarly information on a topic?

Detailed Records

Click on a title to access more information about it.

This takes you to the Detailed Record, where you find

  • an abstract or summary
  • subject terms, and
  • information needed to cite the source.

Click on one of the search results and view the abstract. Reading the abstract can help you quickly determine how relevant an article is to your topic.

If the article is a good match for your topic, view its subject terms.

Adding or revising your original search to include these terms is a great way to locate additional relevant articles.

What's the point?

Tool Bar

In the item's Detailed Record, you can access a number of Tools.

Use these Tools to e-mail, save, and cite articles.

You can also create your own account and save articles to a personal folder.

What's the point?

Accessing Articles

Access an item’s full text from either the result list or Detailed Record. Simply click on the  Full Text link.

Once the text opens, you can save or print articles.

Get Credit for Your Work

You will take a brief quiz to review key points of the tutorial.

Is your instructor offering credit for taking this tutorial? Follow your instructor's directions if you are receiving credit for this assignment.


After taking the quiz, enter your full name and e-mail address to receive a copy of your quiz results. Confirm that you have received the email.


1) You can forward the certificate to your instructor if requested.

2) Use the Print / Send email button to send or display your certificate on the screen. You can also copy the results to your favorite word processing software or email editor.


Select the best answer to complete this sentence: "Smart Search allows you to search for..."

Unlike keyword searches, phrase searching:

Detailed Item Records contain:

Source Type icons help you quickly identify different kinds of information resources. What type of information might you expect to find in academic journals?

Subject Terms are:


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.


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