What is Seneca's Library Search?
It looks like a Google search but instead of websites it searches academic resources.
The library search includes only information from published resources such as books, articles from scholarly journals, newspapers, popular magazines, statistics, literature reviews, biographies and encyclopedic articles. For the majority of your research assignments this is the type of information that you need.
To find out which resources are included you can view our list of resources that are not covered by the library search. Also, on the "All Databases" page the icon shows you which of our resources can be searched by our library search.
Type in the topic, person or place that you need information on. For example,
If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, add more descriptive terms.
Start with: children
More precise: children education
Even more precise: children education toronto
Try searching for information using specific terms that are unique to your discipline (for instance, keywords found in your textbook).
Not ideal: problems with the heart
Better: heart disease
Even better: cardiomyopathy
Not ideal: what are the violent video games that children play?
Better: violence video games children
The library search allows for phrase searching with the use of quotes (“).
will find results with that phrase.
will find results with the word teacher and education, and these will be sorted as follows: results with the terms in a phrase will appear first, followed by results that have both terms (not in a phrase) and finally, results that have one of the terms.
Quotes only works with COMPLETE WORDS, be careful when cutting and pasting phrases into quotes.
“teacher education in Cana” will not retrieve “teacher education in Canada”
“teacher education in Canada” will retrieve the item sought
By default, all terms in a search are combined as a phrase first amd then combined with the AND operator.
will find results that contain the phrase "health children" first, followed by results that discuss health and children in the same item.
If you prefer, you can put AND between the search terms as long as you type it in all caps:
health AND children
microcircuits OR nanocircuits
will return items that contain either term. Don’t forget to capitalize OR. You may also try
"teacher education” OR “educator training”
To exclude items, use the NOT operator.
animal NOT dog
will find results that do not include the word dog.
The question mark (?) will match any one character. For example:
will find results for “Olsen” or “Olson”.
The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. For example:
will find results for “Charter”, “Character”, and “Chapter”.
When used at the end of a word, such as
it will match all suffixes “Temptation”, “Temple” and “Temporary”.
Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.
The left sidebar on the results page offers plenty of options to shorten your results list so it is more specific to your search needs. For example:
Available in the Library focuses your search results on books and videos available in the library at Seneca Libraries.
Peer-Reviewed Journals will narrow your search results to articles from publications that are peer-reviewed (which by default are scholarly). Please note that this may include not peer-reviewed types of content such as editorials and book reviews from a peer-reviewed publication.
You can select multiple options to narrow your original search results. For example, search for scholarly articles published within the last year on education in Ontario.
Items in the library provide the option to browse up to 100 items located near the specific item on a virtual shelf. The system uses the call number index to create the virtual browse list.
If you want to find specific information sources, you can try searching specific fields such as title, author and subject in the Advanced Search option.
The responsive design supports mobile browsing: Mobile compatibility is tested on devices with iOS and Android.