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VDOT OneSearch: Quick Start Guide: Search Tips

The purpose of this guide is to help VDOT employees find and use VDOT OneSearch to perform simple searches. OneSearch is a federated search tool that helps VDOT employees quickly search dozens of databases at once in real time, merging relevant results to

Search Tips: Selecting Databases

The strength of OneSearch — it's ability to search up to 25 databases at once — can also be its weakness. Here are some simple tips to harness the power of OneSearch without being overwhelmed with countless results. If you want to search all 25 databases, make no adjustment to the checked boxes.  Just remember, more is not always better!

Screen capture showing OneSearch's categories.

You may notice on the right that there is an "All Categories"  option which is checked, and that the three category options under it are Business, Engineering & Research, and VDOT News & Media. You may also notice the "+" symbol next to each.  Clicking the "+" icon allows you to add or remove entire categories, or individual databases within a category, if you want. We encourage you to take advantage of this feature! 


Tip 1: Narrow By Category
If you know you want to limit your search to a specific category (you need Engineering Research, for example), then uncheck the other two categories, which would look like this: 

Screen capture of only the Engineering & Research category checked.

Believe it or not, by checking this single category you will be searching 16 different databases at once. That's a lot, but still more narrow than all 25.


Tip 2: Narrow By Database
Selecting the "+" symbol expands a category so that you can see all databases within that category, like this: 

Screen capture of only the Engineering & Research category, with only 5 databases selected..

In the example above we are limiting not only to the Engineering & Research category, but to 5 specific databases within that category...instead of searching all 16.


Tip 3: Narrow By Category and By Database
If we wanted to, we could also pick and choose any combination of databases from any combination of categories by simply unchecking boxes, to help create the perfect OneSearch search! That might look like this: 

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