Quick Search

This video explains what you can find by using the KU Libraries Quick Search. Learn tips for using Quick Search effectively.

KU Libraries Quick Search

You’ve probably seen the Quick Search on the libraries’ homepage. But what exactly does the Quick Search search for? Is there ever a time when you shouldn’t use the Quick Search?

Some people call Quick Search the Google of the libraries because it’s easy to use and you can get a ton of results from a simple search.

For example, if you type in the words climate change, you’ll get over 2 million results and those results will include a variety of source types.

The reason you get tons of results is because Quick Search combs through all of KU Libraries’ collections, as well as several databases. This means that Quick Search results can includes books, e-books, images, dissertations, news articles, scholarly articles, streaming video, and more!

You probably don’t need such a wide variety of source types and sifting through 2 million results wouldn’t be quick at all.

So here are a few tips to help you focus your results in the Quick Search.

First, consider adding more keywords to make your search more precise. Connect keywords using the word “and” to make sure that the search engine looks for results that contain both words, not just one of them.

If you’re searching for a phrase like climate change, always put quotation marks around the words. This tells the search engine to only return results that have those exact words in that exact order. Without quotation marks, the search engine will look for those words separately and you’ll get a lot more results.

Next, consider if there is a certain format you need. If you’re only interested in books, you can filter out all the results that are not books. Look closely at all of the filter options and consider other ways that you can focus your results.

If you need peer-reviewed articles, you may have better luck using a database instead of Quick Search.  Although Quick Search can find full-text, peer-reviewed articles, it doesn’t find all of them. There’s a good chance that the articles you need can be found in a specific database, even if they aren’t showing up in your Quick Search results. So if you need to do research, especially if you’re looking for scholarly articles, consider searching in a specific database instead.

So when is a good time to use Quick Search? Quick Search is most effective when you have a specific item in mind or when you want to get a broad look at what resources the libraries have to offer on a certain topic.