Museum Studies: Finding Books & Articles

Search the Library

Academic Searching Tips

Top tips for better search results


Too many results

  • narrow your search by adding additional terms (these are linked with AND)
  • use phrases, enclose your phrase in quotation marks "" - e.g. “dramatic monologue” 
  • limit by date, language, part of record (title, for example)

Too few results 

  • widen your search by using related concepts and alternative words (these are linked with OR) – eg traged* or melodrama
  • try removing phrases

Use Thesauri 

  • some databases have a thesaurus or subject index, use them to make sure you are using the right terms

Time saving tips

  • truncation –  eg melanchol* for melancholy, melancholic, melancholia (to retrieve words beginning with … )
  • wildcards – eg colo?r for colour & color

Not in the Library?

Can't find what you are looking for in the Library? There are a number of options available:

Reading lists

Browse your reading lists through the Reading List Service

Off Campus Access

Not living in halls or away from St Andrews? Our guide to Remote Access will help you connect with ebooks, databases and journals from off-campus.