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Arkansas State University

OneSearch: Introduction

Use this guide to learn how to find books, journal articles, magazines, dvds, pretty much anything using OneSearch..

Introduction

OneSearch is a library tool that allows you to search several library resources at once, including the Library Catalog, research databases, streaming video, and more. It's your "one search" to finding books, scholarly articles, magazines, newspapers, and video. Much like Google, it searches and finds resources from other tools and displays the results in one place. It does not actually have any content within itself.

OneSearch is a general discovery tool. The "discovery" part is that it gives you a good idea of what is available for any given topic and it's easy to use. The "general" part is that it pulls information on most subjects. This makes it great for broad searches or for beginning your research, but you may find that the more specific and focus your research needs are, the less helpful OneSearch is for you.

OneSearch is searchable directly on the library's home page.
 

OneSearch Box on Library Homepage

 

Using the OneSearch search box on the library's homepage will take you Onesearch's basic search. It's very powerful, but if you need more control and search options, OneSearch also has an Advanced Search option. You can get to the Advanced Search option by clicking the link under the search limiters:

Link to OneSearch Advanced Search

Pros and Cons of OneSearch

OneSearch is a very powerful search tool to discover library resources. It will work for most users' needs, but it does have a few limitations. Here's the pros and cons of OneSearch:

Pros:

  • Great starting place for your research.
  • Searches a variety of resources all at once.
  • Easy to navigate and use.
  • Finds resources that the library does not own. (If you do your research early enough, you can request these resources through Interlibrary Loan.)
  • Mimics the design of most databases. If you get good at searching OneSearch, you’ll have a strong understanding of using most databases!

 

Cons:

  • Can return very large number of results, which can be overwhelming.
  • Despite being named "OneSearch," it does not search everything the library owns!
    • Several databases that are not searched by OneSearch at all and some databases that are only partially searched.
  • OneSearch is a general tool – meaning that it covers all subjects and isn’t very strong in any particular one.
    • The more specific or obscure your research needs, the less helpful OneSearch will be.
    • If you need to focus your search to a particular topic or subject, you may want to move to a subject specific database.