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Library Resources

How to find good information using Library resources at GSM London

Advanced search techniques using Discovery


Using the Advanced Search feature will allow you to retrieve targeted results quickly and easily using a combination of search boxes and drop-down menus instead of a single search box. Note that you need to search using Discovery first- only then do you see the Advanced Search option.

  • From the search results screen, click 'Advanced Search'

advanced search option icon

  • The Advanced Search box will allow you to use Connectors and specify a field in which you would like to search for your term. In this instance, we're looking at terms related to cryptocurrencies (using Truncation) and also filtering using two further terms. Here, results must also contain the word 'sustainability' in the title AND the word 'bitcoin' anywhere in the text.

advanced search results

You also be presented with numerous criteria under Search Options (below the Advanced Search box), including the ability to specify only:

  • Full text (online) articles
  • Peer Reviewed articles
  • eBooks
  • Graphs

Advanced search Search Options screen


Identifying good keywords will maximise your ability to find the most relevant sources for your assignment. The more specific keywords you use relating to your research topic, the more relevant the material that will be surfaced.

For example, if your assignment is related to the growth potential of Blockchain technology, you could identify relevant keywords by conducting a simple search using Discovery and find keywords within a detailed record. 


discovery quick search video gif

Clicking on the detailed record will, in most cases, give you many different keywords you can then use to refine your search and find material that's most relevant to your assignment question.


blockchain detailed record keywords

Keywords identified:

Financial Transactions Processing


distributed ledger technology

cryptographic algorithms


Electronic funds transfers

transactions secure

You can repeat using other detailed records until you find a good mix of keywords to help you find the most relevant material.


  Boolean icon


Once you've identified your keywords, you may want to use connectors (otherwise known as a 'Boolean search').  You can connect your keywords together using ANDOR or NOT to either widen or refine your search. You can do this directly in the search box, or if you prefer, by using the Advanced Search drop-down menus.


Using the AND connector will refine your search. Use this if you need to find more specific material.



blockchain AND "transactions processing"

bitcoin AND  "secure transactions"

ethereum  AND "currency exchange"


ethereum currency exchange search


Using the OR connector will widen your search. Use this if your search isn't bringing back enough material as it will allow you to discover more material that you could utilise.


bitcoin OR "cryptographic algorithms"

blockchain OR "distributed ledger technology"


blockchain or distributed ledger search


Using the NOT connector will help you to exclude material that's irrelevant to your specific assignment or research topic. It can also help you to find more specific material.


ethereum NOT hack*

("currency exchange" AND blockchain) NOT "Mt Gox" 


currency exchange search



What is truncation?

Truncation is simply a search technique that delivers all words that begin with the letters you have truncated, using an asterisk (*). Using truncation in your search will enable you to return multiple relevant results without having to type variations of a word individually.

For example, if you're looking for all variations of the term "technology", you can search using the beginning (known as the stem) of a keyword, followed by an asterisk (*):




using truncation in discovery video


This may bring back some unexpected terms or terms you may not need, such as sources (for example TechCrunch) or colloquialisms such as tech-savvy.

tech*          tech


In this instance, you may then want to make your truncation more specific by lengthening the stem. For example:




technolog* technology


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