OneSearch: New Cross-Database Search Tool

The future isonesearch_logo here! The library is delighted to debut a powerful new search tool called OneSearch.

When you use OneSearch, you search simultaneously across most of the library’s databases, including the CUNY catalog, JSTOR, Academic OneFile, PubMed/MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink, and many others. You’ll even get results from Academic Works, the Graduate Center’s new institutional repository. (More precisely: OneSearch searches both the library catalog and a huge index that includes millions of records for e-books, journal articles, news articles, and more. So, no, it’s not actually simultaneously searching a whole bunch of library databases. Rather, it’s searching an index that includes most of what’s in our databases.)

what_is_onesearch new

Needless to say, a search across that much information can lead to a huge number of results. Happily, OneSearch offers many options for refining your search and helping you find exactly what you want. After you do a search, you’ll have the opportunity to limit your search by resource type, topic, date range, and more. Here are some of the options you’ll see:

refine results

Also, OneSearch gives very clear, prominent information about where a book is located and whether it is currently available:


Furthermore, it indicates whether the full text of an article is available, and, if so, shows a preview right there on the results screen and also provides a link to open the text in a new window (if not, there’s a link to request the item through interlibrary loan):


Does OneSearch provide “one-stop shopping” for library research?

Not quite. OneSearch is a powerful and convenient tool that searches across an incredible amount of content, but it doesn’t include everything. One limitation to be especially aware of is its limited knowledge of books: OneSearch includes all books in the CUNY-wide library catalog and many books indexed by other databases, but it does not include all books in WorldCat. So, if you want to search the full universe of books, it’s still worth searching WorldCat separately. Also, OneSearch doesn’t include all of the search features of our other databases.

Therefore, if you’re engaged in advanced, subject-specific research, you will probably still want to use our individual databases (e.g., PsycINFO, SocIndex, ERIC, Scopus). OneSearch is a great place to start your search — to get a sense of what’s out there, to cast a broad net, to round up a first batch of resources. But we in the library think of it as “first-stop shopping” rather than “one-stop shopping.”

Let us know what you think!

We’re still setting up OneSearch, testing it, and figuring out its strengths and weaknesses. And we’d very much like your feedback as well! If you use it, please click the green “feedback” tab inside OneSearch to let us know what you think.

About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Scholarly Communication Librarian and University Liaison at the CUNY Graduate Center.