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The following brief tutorials will help you learn skills that will make researching easier. Video tutorials can be found below.

Research Skills Tutorial Tutorial - A step-by-step guide to organizing, researching, and writing an essay.

Finding Books at the Library - The Library Catalogue

OMNI is where you should go to look for books, videos and DVDs held by the library. E-books (online books) are also included. This is the most efficient way to search for a known title or known author (use the tabs above the search box to search by author or title). Note that the library catalogue does not include journal articles.  Use the ‘your library account’ option that appears on the left hand menu of the catalogue home page to check due dates and fines and to renew materials.

Finding Journal Articles - Search Everything

OMNI is the single largest index of journal article content available at TMU, and includes items in our catalogue (books, DVDs, e-books) and beyond.  Use Search Everything when you want to do the broadest search possible. It is a good starting point, but depending on your research, you may also want to use a discipline-specific resource like the subject specific databases. Search everything can be searched like Google, but offers refining limits on the left-hand side of the search results. Most useful are the options to limit to scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles, and to limit by subject. Search everything has millions of records and spans across all disciplines, so you may find that you need to refine your search to avoid having irrelevant items bury your articles of interest.

Finding Journal Articles - Subject Specific Databases

Subject-specific article databases can be found in our subject research guides.

Using advanced search techniques (such as Boolean logic)  will help you to find better results.

The benefit of using subject specific databases is that your search is automatically limited to content in journals relevant to your general area of study. Advanced options like subject thesauri are usually available to help you zero in on the most relevant materials to your research. Search Everything may not cover all of the journals (either at all, or for all years of publication) in every subject area, so you will probably find things in subject specific database searches that you didn’t find in your Search Everything hits.

Video Tutorials

How to Search with Keywords

Your keywords are the main concepts or ideas of your paper. 

Shows how Boolean works (Synonyms with OR between them) AND (Synonyms)

For example the keywords for a paper on “youth employment in Canada” would be:

  • Youth
  • Employment
  • Canada


Use synonyms: Often there are multiple ways to express the same concept. For example these synonyms mean essentially the same thing – make sure to use them:

employment can also be:

  • job
  • work
  • career

Use “AND” and “OR”: By bridging your truncated keywords and synonyms with the capitalized search words “AND” and “OR” (known as Boolean operators), you can search for multiple concepts effectively.


We Have More information on Search Techniques 


Useful keywords and terms

To find alternate search terms, keywords, and subject headings for your topic:

The Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online


What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly and peer reviewed literature. From one search box, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites

As of March 2015, Wikipedia reported that approximately 160 million documents were indexed by Google Scholar. Coverage of topics in Google Scholar varies from discipline to discipline as many journal publishers do not allow Google to index their articles; in many cases searching subject specific databases will result in a better choice of articles.

If you are searching with Google Scholar on-campus you will automatically be given access to articles for which TMU has a subscription.  If you are using Google Scholar off-campus, you will need to configure Google Scholar to get access to those articles.

Configuing Google Scholar for Off-Campus Use

For Google Scholar to know that you are affiliated with TMU (and that you should have access to TMU resources), you will need to configure your Google Scholar Preferences as follows:

  1. Go to and click on the Three bar (hamburger) menu (upper left) 
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Choose Library Links from the left-hand menu
  4. Enter Toronto Metropolitan University in the search box
  5. Click in the box beside Toronto Metropolitan University - Check TMU Libraries
  6. Scroll down and click on the Save Preferences button

Once configured, you will see Check TMU Libraries links when you search Google Scholar and you will have access to all TMU's subscription resources.