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Sociology and Social Studies: Find a Topic


If you have any questions, or need further help, please contact us.

Starting a Search in Quick Find

You can begin your research in Quick Find by entering terms in the search box on the Archer Library home page.

Finding information for a topic in Quick Find is a two step process:

  1. Search - Either basic search (the default) or advanced search.
  2. Review and refine (expand or narrow your results).

This process can be repeated until a reasonable number of relevant items are found.

When you are using Quick Find for your research you may want to sign in.

To sign in to Quick Find, click on Guest in the top right-hand corner, click on Sign in.

Signing in allows you to:

  • Set your search preferences.
  • Save your search results.
  • Save your searches so that you can reuse them.
  • Receive via email notification alerts.
  • Easily request items not in the U of R collection through the Library's Interlibrary Loan service.
  • Possibly obtain more results (some databases require you to sign in before they allow Quick Find to search in them).


Search Techniques

Use the below techniques to "power up" your research in Quick Find.

Boolean Operators

The Boolean operators (named after 19th-century logician George Boole) are AND, OR, and NOT.

         cat AND dog    This retrieves items that have the word cat and the word dog.
  cat OR dog This retrieves items that have the word cat or the word dog.
  cat NOT dog This retrieves items that have the word cat but not the word dog. Use this with caution.


Boolean operators can be grouped with parentheses:

(cat OR feline) AND (dog OR canine)

Boolean operators must be in capital letters in Quick Find.
If you don't use Boolean operators in your search, Quick Find uses AND by default.


You can insert a wildcard operator at the end or in the middle of a search term in Quick Find. The wildcard operator is the asterisk ( * ). It stands for any number of characters (including none).
There is a maximum of four wildcards in a search statement.

harbo*r*    This retrieves items that have harbour, harbor, harbours, harboring, etc.


Phrases are sequences of words that appear together in the order specified. Use quotation marks ( " . . . " ) to indicate phrases in Quick Find.

"global village"   This retrieves items having this phrase, with the words together in the order shown.

Phrases and WildcardsTogether

Quick Find allows you to use phrases and wildcards simultaneously.

"cultural anthropolog*"   This retrieves the phrases cultural anthropology, cultural anthropologist, etc.