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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Google Searching Tips


Listed below are a few examples of the most widely used advanced search techniques. 

  • Using the - as a NOT 
    • autism -aspergers will search everything that mentions autism but not aspergers 


  • Using the ~ for concepts related to a chosen word
    • postcolonial ~literature (returns results with the keywords of writers, writing, books, literary) 


  • filetype: shows only results with specific filetype
    • marine ecosystems filetype:ppt


  • related:returns results similar to the site your specify


  • Using Quotation marks "" for exact phrase searching
    • "climate change" - leaves out results that have the word climate and the word change but not "climate change" togethe


NOTE: To view a complete list of all of the advanced search operators that can be used in Google, Google Scholar, and Google Books, view the "Google Advanced Searching Tricks" PDF in the Workshop Materials box. 

Google Scholar Settings

Go to Google Scholar ( To view which results are available in full text through the Van Pelt and Opie Library, either access Google Scholar by going through the library Databases A-Z tab or by going into your settings and adding the library manually. The steps below are to add the library manually. 

1. Click the three horizontal lines in the top left corner of the Google Scholar page. 



2. Select "Settings" from the menu. 


3. After choosing "Settings", choose "Library Links". Then type in "Michigan Tech" and select all the options available below where you just typed. Then click the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen. 



Searching Google Scholar

All of the search operators mentioned above also work in Google Scholar. 

Author: is a search operator unique to Google Scholar

  • author: Green will return only articles with an author named Green 

To search within a date range, use the search facet on the left, or enter in the dates in your search string (2010...2019 for example) 


Google Books

What does Google Books Search? 

  • Books from partnering publishers
  • Book scans from 40+ libraries (Harvard, Oxford, New York Public Library, University of California, University of Michigan, etc). 

Searching Google Books

  • All of the search operators mentioned in the "searching Google" box also work in Google Books. 
  • inauthor: same function as author: but for Google Books
    • inauthor:green 
  • subject: finds a book within a given subject area 
    • "cloud computing" subject:education



Getting Access to Google Books

  • Through Google Books
  • Click on the book title, then click "Find in a library" on the left side of the screen. Then click "Request item via Tipasa", this will direct you to a page where you can complete an interlibrary loan request for the book. If there is access through the Van Pelt and Opie Library, that will appear in the same spot. 

NOTE: This will only work from on-campus. To find access to the books you are interested in when off off-campus, search in MelCat or through the library. For more information visit our Library & Research 101 guide