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ScienceDirect: Quick Start Guide: Advanced Search

A quick start guide to using the ScienceDirect subscription database, available to VDOT employees through the VDOT Research Library.

Searching Resources

For more tips and tricks on conducing advanced searches visit the ScienceDirect Support Center or watch this Advanced Search Tutorial (3:29)

Advanced Searching

Use the Advanced Search if you need to narrow down a large set of results into a small, more relevant set. For example, the search phrase Stone Matrix Asphalt returns a large search set of 2,089 results:

Search for stone matrix asphalt

Tip: Using quote marks around a phrase will search for those words in that exact order. Doing so on the phrase "stone matrix asphalt" would have resulted in a more manageable set of 208 citations. 


Selecting "Advanced Search" retains the initial search term, but provides a variety of other search fields to add terms to. It also has check boxes to help "limit" a search. Elsevier calls these "search filters." In this case we added an author name, a year span and limited to Research articles:

Advanced search screen with additional search terms added.

The result has been narrowed to a single search result: 

An advanced search narrowed to a single result.

Note: If that is too narrow, you can "Clear all filters" to start over, or click the "X" next to a search filter to remove it, which will broaden or expand search results.

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