By Maria Kiriakova

This is a tough question that does not produce an easy answer. To get a list of the databases that are included in (or excluded from) the OneSearch index, check this helpful link:

This list is not set in stone; it has a constantly metamorphosing structure – sometimes databases are added, and some disappear, merge with others, or change their name. One has to run a search first to be able to see what collections the results are actually derived from.

Let’s explore the topic of the relationship between happiness and chocolate consumption. You would need to combine the keywords chocolate AND happiness (yes, you have to capitalize the operator AND to get better results).


When you get to the results screen (34,575!) you have to pause and analyze the screen before jumping to select the readings. The right-hand side panel of the screen will provide you with navigation guidance and here (scroll down a bit to see all the options) you will see the section Source/Collection that explains what databases OneSearch has gone to for this particular search request.

In our case this will look like this: 









The first five databases with the biggest number of the results will be displayed on the initial screen, so to view all the collections to understand where the results are coming from click on Show More. In the end you will see that 35,000 results for the search came from 22 sources/collections. Source/Collection is a hierarchy of library collections and sub-collections.

You can view the results from individual collections (the titles are hyperlinked) or you can exclude collections by mousing over the title (note the red crossed out checkmark):


OneSearch is a fascinating discovery tool that can be manipulated by researchers in a variety of ways. Spend some time looking carefully at the screen to fine tune your options.


More from the Fall 2019 newsletter