Technology News

  • RSS
  • Print

AU Library Unveils New Unified Search

Logo for SearchBox, the AU Library's searching tool for the catalog and journal databases.

Have you ever wanted to search the library’s web resources all at once? Find both books and articles with just one search engine? Your dream is very near reality because AU Library has added SearchBox. With SearchBox, library researchers can search simultaneously the ALADIN Catalog and approximately ninety percent (yes, 90%!) of the library’s electronic resources, including journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in databases. “SearchBox is the most revolutionary and amazing new development since the library went online two decades ago,” says one longtime AU librarian.

For students and faculty, research will be much faster and easier because they can conduct Google-style searches of the library’s vast array of electronic resources. These resources are not available through a regular public Google search because the resources are privately paid for by the library through subscription fees. SearchBox also covers the consortium-wide holdings of the ALADIN Catalog and the digital repository, American University Research Commons. The only resources that the SearchBox engine cannot currently search are some statistical and financial databases. Those databases can still be searched individually. In fact, all databases can still be searched individually, which is particularly important to researchers who want to execute more sophisticated or complex searches that take advantage of specific database features.

SearchBox is supported with material from 6,800 publishers, 94,000 journal titles, and 550 million indexed items—numbers that increase daily. It has many powerful features that will help researchers. For instance, researchers can limit search results to full text or to peer-reviewed/scholarly journals or both. The default for displaying search results is relevancy ranking, but the results can also be displayed in ascending or descending order by date of publication. Other limits include subject, content type, and language. Individual items can be saved and displayed in selected citation formats. Results can also be exported to citation management software such as EndNote. Unlike the ALADIN Catalog or most current databases, SearchBox can also correct for spelling. For instance, if a researcher mistakenly types “Humon rights,” SearchBox will query, “Did you mean human rights?” 

Using SearchBox is easy and highly intuitive, but as always, researchers may wish to contact a reference librarian if questions arise.