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Central Search

Central Search is a centralized discovery service allows users to quickly search, discover and access content across all library collections, including databases, the breadth of library catalog holdings, and more. Central Search allows users to quickly search many JCKL databases and the JCKL catalog all at once with a single search. This makes Central Search the ideal place to begin finding research materials.

What is included in Central Search?

Central Search includes the following resources:

  • Books and e-books
  • Journals and other periodicals
  • Video and audio - DVDs, streaming video (e.g. Films on Demand), CDs
  • Databases - articles from scholarly journals, newspapers, trade publications, and more. All databases are included except those mentioned below.

Central Search does not include the following resources:

  • ERIC
  • Ambrose Digital Video
  • MotoLogic

All the rest of JCKL's resources are covered by Central Search to some extent. However, Central Search has incomplete data for some databases and will not return as good of search results as if you searched the database directly. For that reason, JCKL recommends Central Search as a starting point for research. For in-depth research on a specific subject, it is often better to do a direct search in databases related to that subject.

Help with Central Search

Basic Instructions

  1. Use the single search box to conduct your initial search.
  2. Then, use "Refine Your Search" options on the left to narrow down your results by content type, subject, date, etc.
  3. For a more specific search (e.g., by author or journal title), try the Advanced Search option.

Search Tips

Phrase Searching

Central Search allows for phrase searching with the use of quotes. For example, the query “teacher education” will find results with that exact phrase. Without the quotes, results would include materials that have those words anywhere in close proximity to another.

Searching Specific Fields

The single search box in Central Search (both the basic search box and the keyword search box in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically. For example, entering an ISBN, ISSN, or Call Number will bring back associated records.

You can explicitly search a field using the syntax: “field:(query).” For example, the search ISSN:(1234-5678), finds records that contain that value in the ISSN field.

Searchable fields include the following:

  • Title
  • SubjectTerms
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • PublicationTitle
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Language
  • Notes
  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • DOI
  • Dewey

Boolean Operators

Central Search offers the following Boolean operations: AND, OR, NOT, "-" (hyphen). By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator.The use of these ALL CAPS characters can be used to make queries more specific. To expand the results set, use the OR operator “microcircuits OR nanocircuits” will return items that contain either term. This can be combined with quoted terms such as “teacher education” OR “educator training”. To exclude items in Central Search, use the NOT operator or “-” character before a term. When used in the following query “animal NOT dog” the results will not include the term “dog”.


Searches within Central Search can be performed using the wildcards “?” and “*”. The question mark (?) will match any one character and can be used to find “Olsen” or “Olson” by searching for “Ols?n”. The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. A search for “Ch*ter” would match “Charter”, “Character”, and “Chapter”. When used at the end of a word, such as “Temp*”, it will match all suffixes “Temptation”, “Temple” and “Temporary”.

Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search.

Proximity to Other Words

Use the tilde (~) character at the end of a multiple words. When used on the term “yeast bread”~10 results include instances where the terms are 10 words apart or less.

Search a Range

Use the { } characters to indicate a search range in Central Search. When used on the years {2006 TO 2008} any instance of 2006, 2007, or 2008 will be returned.

Similar Term Searches

Use the tilde (~) character at the end of a word to match similar terms. When used on the term “Lead~” it will match “Wead”, “Veade”, and “Tead”.