Searching tips

The search box, located in the middle of the simple search screen, allows for simple searching, ie a single search query. The functions of the search screen are similar to those used on search engines such as Google. For example:

  • you can search in both upper and lowercase
  • you can search a phrase by inserting inverted commas around the phrase, eg "Jane Austen", or "wind in the willows", and only records containing that exact phrase will be retrieved
  • you can use the * symbol immediately after a word stem, or after an initial in a name, to retrieve words beginning with that word stem, or initial. For example: when searching a word stem, if you search: child* you will retrieve both the word "child" and words with the stem "child" such as: child, children, childhood etc. When an author has used both his full name and initials on different publications, you can use the * symbol to find all his works; remember also to search for his name as a phrase, eg "Lee L?".
  • you can use the ? symbol as a wildcard, eg organi?ation will retrieve both "organisation" and "organization" and nurs??? review will retrieve "nursing review" . This feature is useful if you are not sure of the spelling of a word or an exact title or subject heading.

Note: The ? wildcard is only supported by ANBD, WorldCat and LA Authorities databases.

To search terms such as Dewey Classification, ISBN, ISSN etc, use Advanced Search and for more complex searches use the Command Search option.