How can I focus or narrow library database search results?

I did a search in Discovery and ended up with thousands of results. Is there an easy way to focus or narrow the results so I can find the information I need more efficiently?


It is not uncommon to get thousands of results when searching Discovery, a tool that allows you to search most of the Rasmussen University library databases in one search. There are two simple techniques that you can use to get more precise search results.

Quotation Marks

When you have a search term with two or more words, enclose the term in quotation marks. This will search the database for that precise phrase. For example, if your topic is distracted driving, enclosing that phrase in quotation marks will retrieve articles with include that exact phrase--those words in that order.

AND connector

In some situations, your topic may be too broad, and you might want to focus the search by adding a term that defines a specific aspect of the topic. For example, you may be searching for articles about hypertension. You search and get thousands of results. Upon reflection, you decide you are looking for articles about how exercise can control hypertension. You can add the concept of exercise to the search with the AND connector.

Example search:    hypertension and exercise

Any terms linked with AND will retrieve articles that include both words in the same article. 

View the video below for a demonstration of both techniques. 


  • Last Updated Jun 17, 2024
  • Views 112
  • Answered By Suzanne Schriefer, Librarian

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