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A Guide to Omni

A guide to Omni, an academic search tool that gives you access to information resources from McMaster and other participating Ontario university libraries.

Simple - Search for Keywords Anywhere

New Search is a Simple Search and is the default search in Omni.

  • Enter your search word(s) in the Simple Search box to find them anywhere in an item's record. 
    Consult the Search Tips section for guidance on how to construct your searches using Boolean operators, wildcards and quotation marks.
  • If desired, change the search scope using the drop-down menu next to the search box. NOTE: When McMaster + Other Omni Libraries (default) is used, the search will extend beyond McMaster and include the other Ontario academic libraries using Omni. Materials from other libraries can be requested via Omni or through RACER.
  • Select the magnifying glass to execute your search.

Example: ("basic income" OR "guaranteed income") AND poverty
NOTE: Search words are not case-sensitive, but Boolean operators ARE case-sensitive and should be entered ALL CAPS (i.e., uppercase letters).
New Search / Simple Search in Omni

  • When a search is submitted, the results can include both physical and online items containing your search word(s).
  • The Modify your results: column on the left allows you to refine your results using a variety of filters including Availability, Resource Type, Author/Creator, Language and more. Options will vary depending on the search scope selected.

Advanced - Search for Keywords by Field (Author, Title, Subject, etc.)

To search for words or numerical identifiers in specific fields such as author, title, subject, medical subject, call number (LC, NLM, CODOC, Local, etc.), ISBN or ISSN, go to Advanced Search and select the desired fields from the drop-down menus. 

You can use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT to combine search words in each search line. In addition, the Operator drop-down menu allows you to select the operator that is used between search lines. Consult the Search Tips section for more guidance on how to construct your searches using Boolean operators, wildcards and quotation marks.

If more search lines are needed to accommodate your search criteria, select +Add a new line button (up to a maximum of seven lines).

You can also select the resource type (e.g., articles, books), language and date range of items to retrieve.

 Example:  To find a specific item by its title and author ...

  • Click the Advanced Search link next to the Simple Search box.
  • On the Advanced Search screen, select your desired search scope (e.g., Search for: McMaster Libraries (Catalogue & Articles+)) NOTE: When McMaster + Other Omni Libraries (default) is used, the search will extend beyond McMaster and include the other Ontario academic libraries using Omni. Materials from other libraries can be requested via Omni or through RACER.
  • In the first line, select the Title filter from the drop-down field menu, pick contains (or is (exact) or starts with) from the adjacent drop-down menu, and enter keyword(s) from a title (e.g., "tipping point") in the search box. NOTE: The starts with option only works with  the Title field. 
  • In the second line, select AND from the drop-down Boolean operator menu. Choose the Author/Creator filter from the down-down field menu, pick contains (or is (exact) from the adjacent drop-down menu, and enter the name of a personal or corporate author (e.g., malcolm gladwell) in the search box.
  • If desired, specify resource type (e.g., Book), language, and/or publication date range.
  • Select Search button

Advanced search in Omni

  • When a search is submitted, the results can include both physical and online items containing your search word(s) or number(s).
  • The Modify your results: column on the left allows you to refine your results using a variety of filters including Availability, Resource Type, Author/Creator, Language and more. Options will vary depending on the search scope selected.

NOTE:  To browse by author, title, subject headings (LCSH or MeSH) or call number, select Browse in the Omni banner which is restricted to  content contained in the McMaster Libraries (Catalogue only) search scope.

Search for Identifiers (ISBN, ISSN, Call Number, PMID, DOI, etc.)

Numerical identifers can also be entered in the Simple Search or Advanced Search in Omni. Popular options include ...

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number) - ISBNs can be entered with or without dashes, but removing dashes may produce more precise results
    Example: 9780062498533 retrieves the ISBN associated with the hardcover edition of the book The Hate U Give
    NOTE: Citation Finder in Omni also supports searching by ISBN.
     
  • ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) - ISSNs can be entered with or without dashes, but results may be inconsistent.
    Example: 1533-4406 retrieves the ISSN associated with the online version of The New England Journal of Medicine
    NOTE: Journal Search and Citation Finder in Omni also support searching by ISSN.
     
  • Call Number - enter a complete or partial call number.
    NOTE: Call numbers work best in the McMaster Libraries (Catalogue only) search scope.
    Examples:
    LC (Library of Congress): JC 599 .A36 I35 2018 retrieves the LC call number assigned to the book Human Rights in Africa
    NLM (National Library of Medicine): WY 106 .C734285 2020 retrieves the NLM call number assigned to the book Community Health Nursing
    CODOC: CA1 Z retrieves government publications beginning with this CODOC call number. CA1 Z  is typically assigned to Royal Commission reports by the Government of Canada
    Local:  FILM 1042 retrieves the local call number assigned to the movie WALL-E on DVD.
    NOTE: If a call number returns no results, try adjusting the spaces within the call number.
     
  • PMID (PubMed IDentifier) - enter the complete PMID number.
    NOTE: PMIDs only work in the first two search scopes: McMaster + Other Omni Libraries and McMaster Libraries (Catalogue & Articles+). Citation Finder in Omni also supports searching by PMID.
    Example: 34850156 retrieves the PMID attached to the journal article Low and Steady Wins the Race: For Melanoma Brain Metastases, Is Prevention Better Than a Cure?
     
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) -  enter a complete DOI string.
    NOTE: DOIs only work in the first two search scopes: McMaster + Other Omni Libraries and McMaster Libraries (Catalogue & Articles+). Citation Finder in Omni also supports searching by DOI.
    Example: 10.1177/0021828616675962 retrieves the DOI attached to the journal article A Catalogue of Ancient Egyptian Sundials

DOI search for 10.1080/20479700.2017.1389478 retrieves the journal article with this identifier.DOI search in Omni

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