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PHIL 318: Black Radical Criminology and Theories of Justice

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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

When Should I Search Specific Databases?

Omni includes content from the various research databases to which Queen's University Library subscribes but not everything is included. If you are looking for information on a very specific topic, or a topic that is subject specific, it is recommended that you search databases that specialize in that subject area for more thorough results.

A link to database search is available from the library homepage or consult the relevant library research guide to determine the recommended databases in your discipline.

What is Omni?

Accessible from the Queen's Library homepageOmni is Queen's Library's academic search tool that enables you to search for books, journals, articles, videos and much more, all from one interface. 

Omni provides you with three different content collections to search:

  1. Queen's + Omni Libraries: Queen's collections PLUS the physical holdings* of our 15 partner university libraries
  2. Queen's: physical and online resources at Queen's
  3. Add results beyond Queen's collection: Accessed when you select this option under Modify your results. "Beyond" refers to a vast collection of electronic resources contained in the Omni vendor database

*If you discover a book at one of our partner university libraries, you can request it directly through Omni.

Sign in to Omni

In the right hand corner of Omni,  you will see 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. You can also check loans and requests, renew materials, access full text, view search history and create alerts. 

Signing into Omni also provides you with additional options for accessing the material you need - requesting a scan of a chapter and curbside pick-up are two options.

Omni: Basic and Advanced Searching

Basic Searching

The default search in Omni is basic search. 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 (e.g. activism OR protests).

To search for a specific phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase, otherwise AND is assumed between each word.  (example: "global warming").

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

Advanced Searching

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.

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.

Journal Search

If you are looking for a particular journal, magazine or newspaper, choose the "Journal Search" option either on the library homepage or within Omni:

journal search

In the relevant record in your search results, click on the title of the journal. From there you can access the full text (if the journal is online) and also search inside for articles within the journal.

Search Tips

Boolean Operators

  • Use AND to tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in results. Narrows your search results. 
    Example: women AND income AND canada
  • Use OR between words for synonyms. Broadens your search results.
    Example: teenagers OR youth OR adolescents
  • Use NOT to exclude terms
    Example: exercise NOT fitness

Special Characters

  • Use quotation marks around phrases.
    Example: "glass ceiling"
  • ? (question mark) for single character wildcard (useful for variable spellings).
    Example: wom?n for woman, women
  • * (asterisk) for truncation (multiple character wildcard). Useful for variant endings of a root word.
    Example: cultur* for culture, cultural
  • ( ) brackets to group terms (nested searching) 
    Example: ("social movements" OR activism) AND (twitter OR facebook OR "social media")

Omni Search Tips Guide

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