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OneSearch Help: Overview

A guide to using the OneSearch Discovery library catalog
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Terri Smith
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After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of using OneSearch for research
  • Build effective search strings
  • Identify possible sources in OneSearch
  • Use OneSearch to locate and access materials

What You’ll Find in OneSearch

undefinedLet’s take a closer look at OneSearch and see how and why you will want to use it.

OneSearch is the Google of the library. It’s a single search box that helps you find almost any kind of source you might need for a college assignment, or even if you’re just curious about a topic. It is different than Google though - in that it gives you access to premium content that's more likely to be useful for college-level research.  Many of your results will include sources that aren’t freely available on the open web and many sources have been selected by professional librarians because of their quality. In OneSearch you’ll find books, academic journal articles, documentary films, newspaper and magazine articles, and more. These resources are available to you for free as a student at Taft College.

OneSearch Demonstration

Below is a brief introduction to using OneSearch


Source Types

Here are some of the sources you'll see in your search results in OneSearch:

Books undefined

Books are great for research because they can give you in-depth coverage on a topic, including background, history, and analysis. Don’t shy away from books because you think you don’t have enough time to read the entire thing. Just like other sources, you can pull out the most relevant parts. Skim over the Table of Contents or Index of a book you find on library shelves. If it’s an eBook, you can do a keyword search to find every page that might be relevant to you.

If it’s a print book, you can check it out from the Taft College Library and take it home. Books you can take home are called circulating books and most can be borrowed for three weeks. When looking at the item in the results, locate the call number and write it down.  If you need assistance locating the book, ask a library staff person for help.


If it's an eBook you will see "Available Online." You can click on the link to read the book in your browser after logging in with your Student Login username and password.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Your instructors put a lot of value on peer-reviewed, scholarly articles because these sources speak their language; they are written and reviewed by academics and scholars for other scholars (including community college students!). Depending on where you find them, peer-reviewed articles may also be called scholarly articles, scholarly journals, or academic journals; they are often quite technical and may focus on a very specific research question.


Articles undefined

In OneSearch, magazine articles are identified as an Article. Magazine articles are usually only a few pages long and are written for a general audience. Reading one of these articles on your topic can be a great way to quickly get a better understanding of the background and relevant issues. You can find interviews, opinions, stories and tips related to your topic.


Newspaper Articles undefined

The News icon is attached to newspaper articles and transcripts of news broadcasts. Sources from news organizations can help you understand a topic, gather first-person accounts, or see how an event was covered in different communities, countries, and/or over a period of time.


Videos  undefined

Videos in OneSearch include DVDs available for checkout at your library (see the Call Number) and streaming videos that are Available Online.



Creative Commons License
OneSearch Overview by Taft College Library is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (Links to an external site.) unless otherwise specified. This guide is adapted from Los Rios Community College Librarians Canvas module.