Getting Closer to OneSearch

Have you noticed the OneSearch link on the library website? Have you tried it? Now’s a great time to give OneSearch a whirl — or, if you’ve tried it in the past, to check it out again, as we’ve mentioned before, with steady improvements over the past year, the launch for our main search is approaching.

What is OneSearch? It’s a powerful search tool that lets you simultaneously search across 1) the CUNY library catalog, 2) an enormous index of e-books, journal articles, news articles, and more, and 3) the documents in CUNY Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository. OneSearch is much, much bigger than any single library database, so it’s a great place to start your research.

onesearch main page

Refining Your Search: Of course, a search across so much information can lead to an unwieldy number of results. Happily, OneSearch offers many options for refining your search and finding what you really want. After you do a search, you can limit your results to items in peer-reviewed journals, items for which we have the full text available online, or items that are currently available on the library shelf. You can also limit by resource type, topic, date range, and more:


Finding Books: When you’re looking at a book result, OneSearch gives clear, prominent information about where the book is located and whether it is currently available:


Finding Articles: When you’re looking at an article result, you’ll see a green dot if the full text is available through the library. If so, you can click the green “View Now” to read it. If not, you can easily request it through interlibrary loan.

View Now Search

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

Not quite. OneSearch is a powerful and convenient tool that searches across a huge knowledgebase, but it doesn’t include everything. One key limitation is its limited scope 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. If you want to search the full universe of books, be sure to search WorldCat as well.

Also, OneSearch does not include all items from all library databases, or all of their search features. Therefore, when you’re doing deep, advanced research in a subject, you will probably still want to use our individual databases (e.g., PsycINFO, SocIndex, ERIC, Scopus).

OneSearch is a great place begin your research — to get a sense of a topic, to cast a wide net, and to round up a first batch of resources. But think of it as “first-stop shopping” rather than “one-stop shopping” and also use WorldCat and subject-specific databases as necessary and appropriate!

About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.