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Search for Articles: Library Search

Library Search is the main search box on the SMU Libraries’ homepage

screenshot of library search box on library homepage

It is the easiest way to search and access almost all of the SMU Libraries’ collections, both physical and online. 


  • Search for an exact article title or journal title in quotation marks, such as "New York Times", or
  • Search for general keywords related to your topic

Refine Results

Use the filters on the left side of your results to limit to one type of source only, or to Peer-Reviewed Journals if that is required:

filters available in library search, highlighting peer reviewed journals and resource type filters

Broaden or Narrow your Search

Two additional toggle switches are available: 

  • Include articles available through Interlibrary Loan = turn it on to return more results, some of which you will need to request for free via Interlibrary Loan
  • Search in full text = turn it off to find fewer results

screenshot of Refine my Results toggle switches

Article Access 

Results should have access options, either to download the individual article PDF: 

download PDF or Available Online buttons for an article in Library Search

Or you may see the View Online section, as shown below. Select a database name. If it has multiple options listed, any option should work. 

 View Online options to access full text of an article

Journal Access 

For a complete journal, you can view the full table of contents for all articles in that journal:

journal entry for The accounting review, showing the option to view full journal contents

Within each journal's site, you can usually Search Within or Browse Within to get to specific articles from that journal.

Tips for Focused Searching

Too many results​?

  • Narrow your topic by time, geography, or by focusing on a facet of your topic.
  • Add in more, or more specific, search words.
  • Consider using another, more specific, subject database that may be more focused on your topic.

Too few results?

  • Eliminate limiters or filters.
  • Rethink, and possibly eliminate, any keywords that are too specific.
  • Think of synonyms or related words to search instead.
    • For example, tablet instead of iPad
    • You can also combine synonyms by using the Boolean command OR, inside parentheses so the search tool knows to group those words together: (tablet OR iPad)

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