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SilverPlatter Software Search Techniques

The EconLit, GPO Monthly Catalog, MLA Bibliography, PAIS International, and PsycLit CDROMs use the SilverPlatter software. For more detailed searching, consult the database documentation at each station, press 1 HELP or contact the Library Information Desk.


Define your search by identifying the important words and related terms for each concept. For example, to find records about Environmental Protection Policies, identify the key concepts for the topic, in this case environment, protection, and policy.

Search for Free Text

(Beginning a search with the boolean operator AND automatically combines the results with the previous search set.)

To Search Directly from the

To Search the

Use the online Thesaurus to find a synonym or a more precise term for your search. With the Thesaurus you can make your search narrower or broader by identifying other aspects of your search term.


Truncate a root word or term with an asterisk or question mark to retrieve variants.

An asterisk (*) at the end of a word searches any number of characters.

A question mark (?) at the end or within a word searches for one character.

Example:STAT* will find state, states, but also retrieves statement, statutes, etc. WOM?N will find women or woman. Think about the possible occurrences before using truncation.


To narrow your search, you can search in the limit fields using either IN or an equal sign (=). Check database documentation for specific fields.

Example:1990 in PY or PY=1990

Other operators for numeric fields: py<1990 (less than), py>1990 (greater than), <= (less than/equal to), >= (greater than/equal to), 19901994 (date range).

To Combine Sets

Any number of previous search sets can be combined using Boolean operators.

Examples:#1 AND #5 will find all records containing both terms.

#1 OR #5 will find all records containing one or both terms.

Display Records

The last search set on the screen will be displayed. (To view a previous set type a hash mark and the set number (#3).)

Mark Records

Records can be marked for printing. While viewing a record, place the cursor within the record.

Print Records


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