The CAT Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search screen to take advantage of these advanced searching capabilities


Boolean Searching

BOOLEAN Operators enable you to narrow or expand your results.

  • AND Narrows: The terms you use must both occur in the same work, although they can occur in different fields (such as in Author and Subject fields).
  • OR Expands: The terms you use can occur in the same or different works. Either term will be retrieved.
  • NOT Narrows: Discards any record containing the word you specify using NOT. (e. g. Depression NOT economic).


Phrase Searching ‘ ’

Phrase Searching will retrieve your search terms in the order you typed them.

  • Use Phrase Searching when you are trying to link two or more common words that may have different meanings when separated.
  • To search for a phrase on the quick search page, enclose the phrase in single quotes.
  • Example: Using ‘women engineers’ will search the exact phrase (women engineers).



With allows you to search for terms in the same sentence of the same field (e.g. title, series, subject) in the record.


Truncation $

  • Truncation searches for documents containing variations on a search term. The CAT uses a “$” as the “wildcard” which represents a single character, many characters, or no characters.
  • Use truncation when your search yields no or too few results, or if you want to conduct a more comprehensive search.
  • Example: Using environment$ will search environment, environments, environmental, and environmentally.



  • The Limit option allows you to restrict your search to particular criteria that you specify – such as date, language, where it is located, or what type of material (book, video, score, juvenile material, etc…) it is.
  • Use Limit when you get too many results, or find many of your results to be irrelevant, due to age, language, location or type.


Nesting ( )

  • Nesting utilizes parentheses to clarify relationships between search terms. Generally the items in parentheses are linked by “OR.”
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group or nest search terms together.
  • Example: Using (Iraq or Kuwait) and oil will search Iraq or Kuwait first.


Substitution ?

  • A Question Mark substitutes a single character in a keyword search.
  • Use ? when you are unsure of a spelling or when you want to find two forms of one word.
  • Example: Using wom?n will search woman and women.


Publication Date

  • 1980-2005 for dates between 1980 and 2005.
  • >1980 for dates after 1980 (retrieves 1981 to present).
  • <1990 for dates previous to 1990 (retrieves 1989 and earlier).
  • <=1900 for dates published in 1900 and earlier (“less than or equal to” 1900).
  • >=1900: for dates published in 1900 and after (“greater than or equal to” 1900).