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OneSearch FAQs and Off Campus Access to Library Resources

One Search Tune Up - What You Need to Know

In July 2021 the CSU contracted to license the newest software platform that lies behind OneSearch.  This transition includes improved features but also several changes to the layout and design of Kennedy Library's OneSearch. Here are some key points for successful searching in this tuned-up version of OneSearch. 

  • If you used OneSearch prior to July 24th 2021, you will want to clear your browser cache.  This will allow you to sign in to your library account and be properly authorized for access.  Be sure to delete then update any previous bookmark you may have had for OneSearch.  For clearing browsing caches, refer to the column on the left.
  • If you used OneSearch prior to July 24th 2021, the intent is for all of your saved ("pinned") records to be still be available when you sign into your account.  There are known issues with the saving of print book records, and the vendor is working to migrate these.
  • During any OneSearch session, you will now be able to select the number of records you wish to display on refresh.
  • To limit your search to physical items available at the library, you will now click on "Robert E. Kennedy Library" instead of "Available at Cal Poly"
  • Until the tune-up is complete, Senior Projects prior to 2009 can be found in OneSearch; but Senior Projects from 2009 and after (and all other content the DigitalCommons@CalPoly) can only be found on the Digital Commons:

For any help, don't forget that 24/7 Live Chat help is always available - either at the link below, or on the little chat widget at the lower right corner of this page.

(Note: This OneSearch FAQ is undergoing revision to accurately reflect all changes entailed in the tune up, so you may notice small discrepancies until the revision is complete. The pdfs are all in process of being updated.)

Why Sign In?

When you are logged into OneSearch it will recognize you and provide ALL the options for online access, requesting items, or borrowing items.  To sign in you will need to have an active PolyCard.  (See upper left hand corner).

As always, it is a good security precaution to sign out and close your browser when you are finished.

Search and Filter: The Simplest Strategy for OneSearch

The most direct way to find materials is to search with keywords and then use the many filters on the left to narrow your results.  

In some special cases you may want to resort to ADVANCED SEARCH and use pull down menus for language, format, location, etc.

How do I Find?

How Can I tell if Kennedy has a Specific Book Available in Print? (Easiest)  1) type title and author's last name into Main Search Box; 2) after results appear, filter on the left by Robert E. Kennedy Library.  Kennedy physical items all have a call number in a bright blue box.

How Can I tell if Kennedy has a Specific Book Available in Print? (More complex)  If easiest route fails, use main search box, then filter on left by author/creator, AND filter by Robert E. Kennedy Library.

How Can I tell if Kennedy has a Specific Journal or Newspaper? On the Kennedy Library Home Page use the Journals link just below the main search box. Or from OneSearch use the Journal Search link on the top banner. You can search by title or ISSN. You can also browse by subject category. For specific journals, the search results will provide key information about date ranges for online and print access. 

How Do I Find Content From Peer Reviewed Journals?   After searching with keywords, filter on the left by Peer Reviewed Journals. (But remember these journals also include book reviews and editorials - so results are not NECESSARILY articles!  If you specifically need an article, look at results for clues such as decent length (minimum 5 pages), citations, abstract, and methodology.)

How Do I find a Specific Article? Use the main search box and filter on left by "Articles"  Tip: a chunk of the title in quotes and the author's last name often gets you right to the article, for example:  "maggot in the brain" Weller 

How Do I Find Course Reserves? Two Ways: 1) on the Kennedy Library Homepage, right beneath the OneSearch box, or 2) from the OneSearch Page use the Course Reserves link on the top banner. You can search either place using Course number or Instructor.

How Do I Find Senior Projects? Use ADVANCED search: set lefthand pull down to LOCAL COLLECTIONS and type in Senior Projects. Then type in author and/or title information as relevant in another box. This will retrieve Senior Projects on microfiche prior to Fall 2009. To find digital Senior Projects (Fall 2009 and after) the DigitalCommons@CalPoly provides good access.  

How Do I Find Streaming Videos, DVDs, or Even ... yes ... VHS  In ADVANCED SEARCH, type in the title, then pull the left drop down of Material Type. To find streaming video content, select Videos on dropdown. To find DVDs, select DVD on the dropdown. Due to inconsistencies and the presence of legacy VHS, you may also filter to the left of a results list by Robert E. Kennedy to find DVDs/VHS, or Available ONLINE at Cal Poly to find Streaming Video.

How Do I Browse Good Reads? In ADVANCED Search, set lefthand pulldown to LOCATION and then type in Good Reads.

How Do I Find Items in Different Languages?  Two ways to do this.  1) Use the main search box, then filter on the left by Language.  or 2) Use ADVANCED SEARCH and on a right-side pull-down men choose from one of four languages and then enter your search terms.

Google Scholar (A Side-Door Entry into OneSearch)

What is OneSearch Searching?

Purpose of this Guide and Research Help Options

This guide gives you great pointers on the best databases and resources for your field. Don't forget that you can find help on 24/7 live chat at any time of day or night.  You can also email the CLA librarian, Brett Bodemer, at