Biological Sciences Scholars

Resources for the Biological Science Honors Students


Google's algorithm incudes a preference for the most popular pages and what people in your region are interested in, which usually isn't helpful for doing academic research. However, using the modifiers below can significantly improve your web searching results. NOTE: Some of these modifiers will also work in other databases, but you have to try individually.

Google operators and symbols
" " search the characters exactly as written, e.g. "Ohio State University" instead of each word individually
* a wildcard or placeholder, e.g. teen* searches for teen, teens, teenager, teenagers, etc.
- use the dash (with no space after) to exclude unwanted terms or sites, e.g. removes all sites ending in .com 
.. number range (no space), e.g. 2000..2020 searches that range, 2000.. searches all numebrs after 2000, ..2020 searches all dates before 2020
OR search one term or the other keyword, e.g. Speech OR hearing will search for all results of either term
site: limits the search to that site domain, e.g. limits searches to all .edu sites
filetype: limits the search to specific file extensions, e.g. filetype:.xls for data searches
inurl: searches for a term that appears in the URL
intitle: searches for a term that appears in the title of a webpage
AROUND(#) search for terms within # works of each other (proximity search), e.g. speech AROUND(10) hearing, searches for both terms within 10 words of each other


Off-campus Access

If you're working from off-campus and need to access subscription materials, you can quickly authenticate using your name.#. Here's how:


In Firefox:
Right-click on the following link, then select the "Bookmark This Link" option:

Off-Campus Sign-In service

In Safari:
Drag this link to your bookmarks toolbar:

Off-Campus Sign-In service

In Internet Explorer:
Right-click on this link:

Off-Campus Sign-In service

Select the "Add to Favorites..." option. (You may be warned that you are adding a link which may be unsafe. You can click whichever option is required to continue.)

In Google Chrome:
This bookmarklet should not be used in Chrome.  Instead, install the OSU Off Campus Sign-In Extension from the Chrome Web Store.

You can create an Off-Campus Sign-In Bookmarklet on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch by viewing this page in your device's browser and following the steps below.

Note that this script is not compatible with Android phones.

Step 1: Copy this URL.


Step 2: Bookmark this page.

Tap the action arrow button at the bottom center of the screen (iPhone, iPod Touch) or to the left of the location bar (iPad) and then tap Add Bookmark. You can change the name if you want (by default it will be called "Off-Campus Access -")  Save the bookmark to your device's Bookmarks folder (or wherever you would like it to be), then tap "Done".

Step 3: Edit the Bookmark.

This is the important part. Tap the bookmarks button (it looks like an open book) at the bottom of the screen (iPhone) or top of the screen (iPad). Then, tap "Edit". Find the bookmark you just saved (unless you changed the name, it will be titled "Off-Campus Access -") and tap it.

You now need to change the URL to the text you copied in Step 1. Tap the URL field (it begins with "http://"), then delete everything in it and paste the text you copied:


Then, click "Done".

Step 4: Access Things!

Now, when you are using your iPhone or iPad and follow a link into a web site that the library provides you access to, just tap the "Off-Campus Access -" bookmarklet. If you have not logged in through the Libraries' website already, you will be redirected through OSU's authentication page. You will then be returned to the resource with access as if you were on campus.