Search Everything?!?!

Mackenzie Brooks //

Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian // English Department Liaison

Fall Academy, August 26, 2015


  • Breeze through the history of information retrieval.
  • Explore the inner workings of Search Everything.
  • Reveal search tips for Google Scholar and Google.
  • Discuss student research challenges.

"Too Big to Know"

Knowledge now lives not just in libraries and museums and academic journals. It lives not just in the skulls of individuals. Our skulls and our institutions are simply not big enough to contain knowledge. Knowledge is now a property of the network, and the network embraces businesses, governments, media, museums, curated collections, and minds in communication.

Weinberger, David. Too Big to Know : Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room. New York: Basic Books, 2014.

Research difficulties experienced by college freshman:

1. Formulating effective and efficient online searches

2. Identifying, selecting, and locating sources

3. Reading, comprehending, and summarizing materials

4. Figuring out faculty’s expectations for research assignments

Head, Alison J. "Project Information Literacy Research Report: Learning the Ropes.” Project Information Literacy Research Report, December 4, 2013.

Search Everything is:

  • a discovery tool/system/service
  • something we pay for
  • potentially biased
  • one of the best of its kind
  • still not perfect
  • constantly changing

Everything =

  • 384,267 e-books
  • 94,735 e-journals
  • 513,255,675 records
  • 975,050 catalog items (mostly print)
  • 1.5 billion citations
  • 90 content types


Search tips

  • Use quotes for phrase searching
  • Use wildcards
    • * matches 0+ characters
    • ? matches a single character
  • Use Boolean operators AND, NOT, OR
  • Use refinements/filters or advanced search


You have to tell Search Everything that you know what you're looking for.

Google Scholar

  • Updates quicker that Search Everything
  • Handles open access material well
  • Finds freely available PDFs
  • Decent relevancy, especially for journal articles
  • Integrates with library holdings
    • Settings > library links

Google search tips

  • Search tools
    • Verbatim search (rather than quotes)
    • Time-based search
  • filetype:pdf
  • mustang -ford

Further Reading