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Research Strategies


LibrarySearch+ (LS+) is a Google-like search tool for nearly all of our print, online text, audio, and video resources, available from the library homepage. Because LibrarySearch+ can perform a simultaneous full text search of print and online book, journal, and newspaper articles, it is a great way to start both cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific research.


Surrounding words in a search with quotation marks turns those words into a single search phrase or “concept”.

You can perform more specific searches by joining two or more words and/or phrases with the capitalized Boolean operators OR, NOT, or AND.

LibrarySearch+ search for "COVID immunization"~5

Instead of keyword or phrase searching, it is sometimes useful to perform a proximity search. It is possible to search for two words that you expect to appear near each other without necessarily being adjacent.

Perform a proximity search by surrounding two words with quotation marks and then following that by the tilde symbol (“~”) and the maximum space allowed between the two words. For example, “COVID vaccination”~5 will return results where the words “COVID” and “vaccination” appear in texts where they are separated by no more than 5 words.

Search Results

Like Google, an initial LS+ search frequently returns MANY results. However, unlike Google, LS+ allows you to refine your search using the facet panel located along the left side of a results page.

Using the REFINE YOUR SEARCH facet allows you to quickly limit to full text online, scholarly and peer reviewed, and open access sources.
With the CONTENT TYPE facet, it’s also possible to limit to (or exclude) specific content types like journal articles, books, and book chapters.
Note that newspaper articles are excluded by default. To add them back in, click on Newspaper Article under CONTENT TYPE.

Using the BROAD SUBJECT AREAS and the SUBJECT TERMS facet groups can help focus your searches in fruitful (and sometimes unexpected) ways!

The BROAD SUBJECT AREAS facet group can provide focus on discipline-specific aspects of a topic. It can also reveal valuable interdisciplinary connections.

The SUBJECT TERMS facets can reveal widely used words and phrases associated with a topic. This can be particularly useful if you are new to researching an area.

Using the AUTHOR facet can help you discover the leading (or at least the most productive) authors in a research area.
The LANGUAGE facet makes it very easy to identify or eliminate non-English language content in your LS+ results.
Selecting specific DATABASE facets gives you control over the source(s) of your search results.

Using LIBRARY LOCATION facets allows you to restrict the “location(s)” of your LS+ results.

Because the LS+ database includes the combined Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby College Library catalog (CBBcat), initial results will probably include content from all three schools.

Using the “Bates”, “Bates Online”, and “Bates Archives / Special Collections” facets will show only content available at Bates.

Accessing LibrarySearch+ Results

Each LS+ result indicates both the content type (e.g. Book, eBook, Journal Article) and how you can access the content.

Many results are immediately available either as electronic downloads or streaming media (e.g. e-books, journal articles, streaming audio, streaming video, etc.). Just click a Full Text Online link to access!

The locations of physical materials like books are given by call number followed by their location.

Although Bates does not have immediate or on site access to everything, LS+ does a pretty good job of identifying materials available from libraries outside of the Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby group. Selecting “Check availability” will start your Interlibrary Loan request process.

Working with your saved citations

Your marked items are stored in a temporary folder for you to later select, print, email and export into EndNote.

You can “Choose a Citation Format” and your list will be shown below in that format.