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Michigan State University

SearchPlus Help: Search Help

Starting Out

To search in SearchPlus, use the first (default) tab and the large search box on the Library's home page. Think about the keywords that best describe your topic. These can include general concepts as well as the names of people, places or things. Enter them in the search box remembering to use quotation marks when looking for phrases and multi-word terms.

As you will see, one of the strengths of SearchPlus is the ability to return large numbers of results quickly. Sometimes it returns too many. The next section shows how easy it is to refine your results set by limiting your search to specific subjects, content types and date ranges.

SearchPlus Filters

Learn how to use filters in SearchPlus for more targeted search results.

Direct link to "SearchPlus Filters" on MSU Mediaspace

Saving Citations in SearchPlus

Watch this Two Minute Tip video to learn how to save citations you find in SearchPlus.

Direct link to "Saving Citations in SearchPlus" on MSU Mediaspace

Narrow the Results using Limiters

SearchPlus searches most of the materials owned or licensed by the MSU Libraries. This means that sometimes you'll get a very large results list. Don't worry - with just a few careful clicks you can narrow the list down. First: Look at the grey menu to the left of your results list. You'll notice a series of "limiters" that you can check off to reduce your results list.

Limiter #1:  Refine Your Search

Items with full-text online: If you click this box you will eliminate all results which are only available in a physical format such as print, cds, dvds, vhs, blu-ray etc. - but beware - many important resources are not available in an online format and you will not see them if you limit to online items.

Limit to scholarly articles including peer-review: This will remove all results which are not journal articles - so no print or electronic books or other formats will appear.

Limiter #2:  Content Type

This box shows all the different types of materials which are in the results list. You can limit your results to just those material types that you click.

If you see a "more" link, this means there are even more to choose from than are showing on the page. Click "more" and you'll get a pop-up window that you can scroll through to see all your choices.

Limiter #3:  Publication Date

Choose a date range to limit your results to only items published during that time period.

Limiter #4:  Library Location

You can choose to see only materials which are housed at a specific Library branch. Note, only print books, musical scores, maps, cds & dvds have a branch location so this is a great way to remove all electronic materials from your list. This is especially useful if you are looking for a print book and do not want to see any e-book versions.

Online materials are "online" so if you limit to a branch you'll automatically eliminate all online journal articles and any eBook if we don't also have a print copy of it. In the case where we own a book in both electronic and print format you will find those eBook titles even if you've limited to a branch.

Limiter #5:  Language

Choose a Language to limit your results to that language.

Limiter #6:  Subject Terms

This lets you know what topic(s) each result covers. Click "more" to see them all. Click only the subject tags that are closely related to your topic. The more subjects you click the more results you'll have and vice versa. This is a great way to remove irrelevant results. The subject links are ordered by frequency, with the most common subjects at the top.

Limiter #7:  Discipline

Use this to limit your results to one or more disciplines. As with the Subject Terms, the more disciplines you click, the more results you'll have and vice versa.

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