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HLTH 235: Food Systems

When Should I Search Omni?

  • You are starting your research and want to assess the resources available on your topic
  • You want to find resources in a variety of formats (i.e. books and articles)
  • You are searching for articles on an interdisciplinary topic, where information could be found in various databases
  • You are looking for an exact known item
  • A comprehensive article search is not required

Omni Search Tips Guide

For a much more comprehensive look at Omni, please consult the library's Omni Search Tips guide.

What is Omni?

Omni is the library's academic search tool that enables researchers to search print and online resources in different formats including books, articles, videos, and government documents through one interface. 

The Omni search box is featured on the Queen's Library homepage

Basic Search

The default search in Omni is Basic Search. Use Omni to conduct either natural language or complex Boolean searches. 

Enter one or more keywords into the Omni search box, choose the scope you wish to search (please note, if you are starting your search from the library homepage, the scope is automatically set to search Queen's + Omni Libraries (this can be adjusted once you've executed a search), then click the search button. 

Basic search supports the use of Boolean operators: AND, OR or NOT, and they must be entered in uppercase.

The use of special characters such as quotation marks, an asterisk, a question mark, and brackets can also be used. Examples provided in the chart below.

Once you have your initial search results, you can fine-tune them by using the filters on the left side of the screen.

Search Tips

Use AND to tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in results. Narrows your search results 

fisheries AND sustainable AND "food systems"

Use OR between words for synonyms. Broadens your search results

"climate change" OR "climate crises"
Use NOT to exclude terms farming NOT farmers
Use quotation marks around phrases "migrant workers"
for single character wildcard (useful for variable spellings) wom?n for woman, women
* for truncation (multiple character wildcard). Useful for variant endings of a root word. environment* for environments, environmental
Brackets to group terms (nested searching) ("migrant workers" OR "migrant labour") AND justice


Advanced Search

Use the Advanced search option for more precise searching. Using the drop-down options within the Advanced Search screen you can limit your search to specific fields and/or a combination of fields (Author, Title, Subject, Call number). You can also specify that your search words must be contained in the search field ("contains", "starts with" or "is (exact)."  

Specific dates and languages can be selected. Resource type will limit your search to a specific format or material type, such as book or ebooks.

Sign In

Within Omni, there is the option to sign in. Signing into Omni will help optimize your search,  and you will have access to special features, such as saving your favourite results. From your Favourites, you can label and collate personal collections and export citations to a citation manager. You can also check loans and requests, renew materials, access full text, view search history and create alerts. 

Results Filtering

Apply filters to fine-tune your search results.  Filters are located on the left hand side of the Omni search page, after you have performed a search.  

To select a filter, move your mouse to the left of the filter you wish to select and a check box will appear. You can then select it (or deselect it by moving your mouse to the right hand side of the filter). After selecting a filter, be sure to click the green "Apply Filters" button to activate the filter.


Omni enables you to search different scopes of information collections: locally at Queen's, consortially with 18 other partner libraries, and beyond, via the vendor's vast database of electronic resources.

Books that are not available at Queen's but are available at one of our partner libraries can be requested directly through Omni. Physical items can be requested and delivered to Queen’s University Library for pickup. Articles and book chapters can be requested and delivered to your Queen's University email.