Search options in Trove

Limit your search to a specific field, such as title or author

You can search a number of specific fields using the simple search box. For example, to search for items written by Mem Fox, try the following query: creator:(mem fox)

Fields you can search Example
creator creator:(Donald Norman) (includes authors, photographers, illustrators, editors, etc)
subject subject:(cognitive psychology)
title title:(short history of Australia)
isbn isbn:0333337352
issn issn:0810-8633
publictag publictag:(sydney)

nuc:QU (Items held by QU but not QU:IR)

nuc:"QU:IR" (Items held by QU:IR. Need to put the nuc in quotations)

nuc:QU* (Items held by QU, QU:IR and other NUCs starting with QU)

You can search more than one field at a time. For example: title:(heat) creator:(neil hargreaves)

You can also use 'AND', 'OR' and 'NOT' to structure your fielded search. For example: title:(heat) NOT creator:(neil hargreaves).

Broaden or narrow your search

By default, your search terms will be joined with the boolean operator AND. That is, searching for: paul kelly will give you results that contain both of the words “paul” and “kelly” anywhere in the record.

If you want to do a broader search, you can add the word OR between your search terms, to return results that have one or more of your search terms. You can also use the boolean operator NOT to exclude some items from your results. For example: (cat OR fish) NOT dog.

You can also use a wildcard to find more results (although your search will already be somewhat fuzzy by default). For example: olympi*.

Another way to narrow your search is to use the “refine search” options on the left hand side of the results screen. For example, to find braille books, try using the values found under the heading “format“.

Search for a phrase or for exact spelling

Search for a phrase

Try putting a phrase in quotes to look for results that contain your search as an entire phrase, rather than keywords. For example: “sydney harbour bridge”. Be cautious when searching for people’s names in this way, as they could be recorded as either “Charles Dickens” or “Dickens, Charles”.

Search for an exact spelling

Searching for Jackes would normally find results containing both Jackes and Jack (Although Jackes would be considered more relevant). To exclude results that don’t contain the exact spelling Jackes, try searching for text:Jackes OR fulltext:Jackes.
Note that relevance ranking may not perform as well as usual using this search method.

Using the checkboxes

Find online resources you can access right now

Using the 'Online only' checkbox limits your search to items which are available online. Online materials are divided into three sub-categories: Freely available, Access conditions, or Unknown (Possibly available online).

Find items in your libraries
Once you have set up a list of libraries and institutions you have access to, you can limit your search using the 'In my libraries' limit below the simple search box.

In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to, you must first login or sign up. You can then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page. To access your profile page, click on your user name at the top right of any screen.

Find Australian items
Using the 'Australian only' checkbox limits your search to items which are about Australia or Australians, by an Australian, or published in Australia.


Refine your search results

There are several ways you can refine your search results.

Limiting your search to a particular zone

1)      Enter your desired search term and click on the green ‘Search’ button;
2)      Under the heading for each zone you will see a link, ‘view all XXX results’, click on this link in the zone you would like to narrow your results down to.

Using the ‘Refine your results’ menu

This menu is a list of predefined filters and options to refine your search results.

1)      The ‘Refine your search results’ menu is located on the left hand side of search result pages;
2)      You can refine your results in multiple ways, click on one of the headings to see more options.  For example click on the Format menu and it will expand and display more options;

Format – Filter results by their format (Book, Video, Article)

Availability – This filter allows you to filter online records by their access conditions

Decade – You can narrow your search results based on what decade they were published

Language – Select what language you would like to filter your results

Australian Content – Only return records that were published/about Australia

Selected Subject views – Some records have their subject or topic included in their record and you can filter your results on these fields.

3)      When you add a filter to your results a box will appear next to the search input box that will list all the filters that have been applied to the results;
4)      Click on the red ‘x’ icon to remove a particular filter;
5)      You may clear all applied filters by clicking the ‘clear all’ link.

Advanced Search
Click on the ‘Advanced search’ link located next to the green ‘Search’ button.

Search for names or phrases containing punctuation

Punctuation marks are not searched by Trove, as the process of creating the electronically translated text often adds additional punctuation that would decrease the accuracy of the search results. This may, however, result in difficulties when searching for names or phrases that include punctuation, such as O’Reilly and 2/14th Battalion.

To search for terms that would normally include punctuation, omit the punctuation from your search terms, running the terms together (i.e. oreilly and 214th battalion rather than o’reilly and 2/14th Battalion). It is also worth replacing the punctuation with a space, and searching for the term as a phrase (i.e. “o reilly” or “2 14th battalion), as the punctuation may not have been recognsed.

Search for names starting with 'Mc'

Names beginning with Mc may be printed as M‘, and processed as an M followed by an apostrophe, M’.

As Trove does not search on punctuation, try searching for the name excluding the ‘c’, or replacing the ‘c’ with a space and searching as a phrase (i.e. mhugh or “m hugh” in addition to mchugh).

Search for hyphenated names or words

Improvements in Trove's software mean that we no longer have any special rules for indexing or searching for hyphenated words. When indexing articles in Trove, Trove sees each word as starting and ending where there is punctuation, including spaces, full stops, hyphens or other characters. Trove also sees words as starting where a character is capitalised. Both hyphenated and words identified by capitalised letters (including words that contain apostrophes) are indexed in such a way that each ‘part’ of the word is searchable separately, but searching for the complete word will still find the item.