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Covid–19 Library update

Important changes to our services. Find out more

Library Search

Search for books, articles and more.

How to search

Searching with Library Search is easy: enter some search terms into the Library Search box and hit enter or select search.

Your search terms can be:

  • Word/s that describe a subject you are researching
  • A few words from the title of a book and/or an author name
  • Words from an article title and/or author name.

You can choose to search all sources or filter results by Format, Year or Content Type e.g. journal articles or books/ebooks.

Find full text

Run a search, then select Full Text located under Content Type ..

... and Library Search will show you a list of results available to view online.

Just looking for a book/ebook?

  • Enter your search terms into Library Search and run your search.
  • Under Format, select Book

Only want ebooks? Under Format click to select only ebook

Phrase searching, boolean, wildcards and proximity searching

Phrase Searching

Library Search allows for phrase searching with the use of quotation marks " ". The query "teacher training" will find results that include that exact phrase.


Searching Specific Fields

The single search box in Library Search (basic search box or keyword search option in advanced search) will search across many fields automatically

You can explicitly search a field using the syntax: field:(query) in the basic search

You first need to enter the correct syntax, followed by a colon and then add your search terms.

For example, the search ns:1234-5678 finds records that contain that value in the ISSN field.

Examples of searchable fields include:












la: or ln:


bn: or ns


ns: or In



*When entering ISBN/ISSNs ending in X truncate the number using the asterisk key(*).

If you access the advanced search option, you can select further options by clicking on the drop down arrow under the search index and choosing the relevant search field.


Boolean Operators

Library Search offers the following Boolean operations: AND, OR and NOT. The operators must be written in capitals.

By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator.

To expand the results set, use the OR operator. For example, football OR soccer will return items that contain either term.

You can also use OR with phrase searches such as "teacher training" OR "educator training".

To exclude items in Library Search, use the NOT operator before a term. When used in the following query animal NOT dog, the results will not include the term dog.


Wildcard Use in Library Search

You can search using the wildcards ? and *.

The question mark (?) will match up to 9 characters within a word.  So for example can be used within wom?n to find results including women or woman.  This technique also works for UK/US spelling col?r will find results including color and colour.

You can use asterisk to widen your results to include various word endings.  First enter the stem of the word followed by an asterisk. A stem need to be at least three characters long.  For example, genetic* will locate results such as genetic, genetics or genetically 

You need to carefully select where you place the asterisk as you can end up with lots of irrelevant results. When used at the end of a word, such as Temp*, it will match all suffixes i.e. Temptation, Temple and Temporary,


Proximity searching

Proximity searches limit result sets to terms within a specified number of words from each other.

To perform a proximity search, enter your first search term then w followed by a number between 1-25 then the associated search term e.g. archaeology w3 roman.  This will look for results that include word archaeology followed by the word roman with no more than three words between, in the order typed. 

Saving searches

To save your searches you will need to be signed in. Click on the Sign In icon on the top right hand corner of the page. 

Run your search using your desired search terms.  You can choose to keep your selections for subsequent searches by clicking Retain Filter, which is useful if you have filtered your results by source type, full text, publication date etc. . To save a search, click on Save Search, located above the result list.

You will be prompted to Save again and then you will see the following confirmation message - Saved search criteria


To access your saved searches, click on My Account (at the top of screen) and choose Saved Searches.

You can then run the search again or delete any unwanted searches.