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Michigan State University

LB 492: Evolutionary Design: Home

Searching the Library Homepage

The following video will show you how to use the search box on the MSU Libraries homepage. The same search box will search for books, journals, databases, and some articles (but the resources on the second page of this guide are better places to search for articles on specific topics). If you need books, journals, or other kinds of media, this is a good place to start. 

Choosing Keywords

Tips for Searching

1. Use keywords.

If you are starting your search, trying use keywords, rather than full sentences.


  • algorithm natural selection rather than How can natural selection be modeled by algorithms?

2. Put phrases in quotes.

If you are searching for a phrase, such as functional adaptation, put the entire phrase in double quotes. This will tell the database to only find results that contain the exact phrase, rather than one or two of the individual words.

3. Use AND to narrow your search.

If you have two or more words or concepts that you want to find, use AND (must be capitalized) to tell the search engine to only look for items that contain both words.


  • virulence AND parasite

4. Use OR to expand your search.

If you can think of common synonyms for one of your keywords, you can have the database search for articles that contain either one by using OR (always capitalize!)


  • leprosy OR Hansen's disease OR HD

Health Sciences Librarian

Chana Kraus-Friedberg's picture
Chana Kraus-Friedberg
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824

Other Useful Library Guides

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