The New York Times posted a story titled 6 Google Tricks... that includes two tricks that can reduce your search time.
Search a phrase by putting quotations marks around it e.g., "death penalty"
Quickly search a website using a site operator function which is the site name and subject term separated by a colon, e.g., nytimes.com: 6 Google Tricks
Searching OneSearch (Primo)
Most databases have certain basic functions. In addition to searching a phrase by binding it in quotation marks (some use parentheses), you can connect subject terms with the words and, or, & not as a way to refine your search.
OneSearch is CUNY's branding for a discovery tool called Primo, which offers a page on how to do a simple search.