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OneSearch (database instruction)

OneSearch allows you to search RRC Library's books, journals, DVDs, databases and media collection all at the same time. This guide will give you an introduction to everything you need to know.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators

There are three operators that can be used to expand or limit your search. Operators can be used in conjunction with all other search tools on this page.


Use AND to narrow your search.





This search will find all results that contain the term honey and bee in any order or combination. It will not find records that contain JUST honey or JUST bee. Both words must be present.


Use OR to expand your search.





This search will find results with at least one of these terms, but not necessarily all of them.


Use NOT to exclude topics from your search.





This search will find results with the term “Bee” but will exclude any results that also contain the word “wasp”


  • Operators are CASE SENSITIVE. In order for operators to work, they must be in all caps or they will behave like a regular search term.
  • Searches with multiple operators are processed in the following order, from left to right:
  1. ( ) – Parentheses allow you to group search terms and alter the order of precedence.
  2. AND and NOT – left-to-right precedence is used in case of multiple operators.
  3. OR – left-to-right precedence is used in case of multiple operators.
  • Place NOT operators carefully to ensure that the correct results are excluded. Parentheses are strongly recommended.
  • OneSearch assumes that you are searching for all of the words unless you type operators between words and phrases.


Searching for a Phrase

A phrase is two or more words that need to be treated as a unit. To search for an exact phrase, and keep those words together and in the same order as searched, you must enclose the phrase in quotation marks.





This search will not find “honey” or “bee” only “honey bee”


  • If you do not enclose the phrase the system will find all words in the search term regardless of whether the words are located next to each other or not.
  • Because phrases are treated as a unit you can use them in conjunction with operators. Ex. “queen bee” AND “honey bee”



Wildcards are characters that are used to replace unknown elements. You can include the following wildcard characters in your searches:

? (question mark)

Enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search.
This search will return results for woman, women, and so forth.

* (asterisk)

Enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search.
This search will return results for culture, cultural, and culturally.
You CANNOT use wild cards at the beginning of a term (ex. *tension) or within quotations (ex. "Tobacco smok*").


Nesting search terms

The Advanced search screen gives us some preset nesting behaviors. The search lines work as if they are parenthesis. Each search line is separated by a dropdown with Boolean operators.

The same type of behaviors can be done in a one-line search (such as basic or even Google). Use parentheses to group terms to clarify the order of multiple operators specified in a query.





The results of this search would be the same as searching for all of these:

  • “queen bee” AND hive
  • “honey bee” AND hive
  • drone AND hive

If we did the same search using the advanced search it would look like this. Note how we have left off the parenthesis but used multiple lines to structure the search:















Advanced nesting

You can nest within parentheses or advanced search lines. A complex search might look like this:


("pain assessment" OR "pain scale" OR "pain tool" OR "pain measurement")


((geriatric OR "older adults" OR elderly) AND ("long-term care" OR "nursing home" OR "residential care" OR "assisted living"))


("verbal and nonverbal communication" OR "nonverbal communication")


The results of this search would be the same as searching for all of these:

  • “pain assessment” AND geriatric AND “long-term care”
  • “pain assessment” AND geriatric AND “nursing home”
  • “pain assessment” AND geriatric AND “residential care”
  • “pain assessment” AND “older adults” AND “long-term care”
  • …and more

There are oodles of combinations in this search due to the nesting of terms in the second line.

Make a recommendation

Do you have a title to recommend for our collection? Use the Suggest a Purchase form to suggest a book, video or journal.

Do you have suggestions or feedback that can help improve this guide? Please contact this guide's author on the "Getting Started" page.