Advanced Search


If you want to search on something besides Keyword, Advanced Search lets you choose up to 3 different fields. You may combine fields using Boolean operators (AND, OR, AND NOT). You may also enter multiple terms in each box, using brackets () and Boolean operators.  You may also use the truncation symbol * (but be aware that many search targets do not support its use). You may also be able to filter (limit) your search results by date.

Narrowing the Search (if you get too many results)

Various filters can be applied if enabled on your system. You can limit your search results by date, which will display only the items published in a particular year, or range of years. You can also restrict results to items published before a certain year (to box) or after a specific year to the present (from box).


What is the All years radio button for?  If you select a date filter (single year or range) and then change your mind, there is no way to 'unselect' the radio button, as there has to always be one thing in the group selected.  So choosing All Years tells the system 'don't filter by year at all'.


Search results can also be filtered to include only articles in Peer Reviewed journals. Please note that if you are searching 'mixed-content' databases (for example, databases that include books and technical reports as well as journal articles), filtering to peer reviewed will eliminate all non-journal items from your search results.  Filtering to peer-reviewed doesn't make sense in a books database, like a library catalog.


You can filter the results by item Format, Language and audience Level. Select one or more filter values from the boxes. ZPORTAL checks the records and filters out those that do not match your chosen format, language or audience level.  If using these filters finds too few items, try re-doing your search without the filters.  


After you begin viewing results, you can narrow your search by adding one or more terms in the Refine Search box at the top of the results list.  The new term(s) will be combined to your original search with the AND operator.  


Broadening the Search (if you get too few results)

Add one or two related terms to your search, combining them to your original search with the OR operator.  If you originally searched with one or more filters, try removing the filters to get more results.


What is the Refinement On/Off option? (this option may not be available on your ZPORTAL)

Refinement On means that the search form allows you to choose from fields supported by the databases you are searching.  Fields that are not supported by those databases will not appear in the list of choices. Anything marked with an (*) in the list of choices means that field is supported in ALL databases in the current search profile.

Refinement Off means that you'll see all possible fields, many of which will not apply to the databases you are searching.


Searchable Collections

Collections are the resources you can search through ZPORTAL, such as databases, websites, and library catalogs. In the list of Collections you can select or de-select those to be searched.

Click the information icon to show the Collection details in a popup window. In here if there is a Collection URL enabled you can Click to search the database using its own native interface e.g. EBSCO. A new window opens while you still keep your ZPORTAL session.