Health Sciences: Library search

Guide to resources for assessment tasks in health issues, health education and public health

Search for Library resources

The Library Catalogue has been replaced with "Search" (

Basic search

Using natural language, the simple search box will bring back results from a number of different sources. You can refine the results of your basic search by using the facets located on the left-hand side of the results screen.

Advanced search

Use the advanced search to prescribe limits prior to your searching.


See the Search library guide for Help with using Search.

What is Boolean searching?

Boolean operators are used to combine search terms in many databases and search engines.  The 3 main operators are AND, OR and NOT.  Using these operators to broaden or narrow the focus of your search is easy, in fact, you may already be doing it.


Using AND narrows a search.  All specified terms must appear in the search results.  Many search engines do an AND search by default.


Using OR broadens a search.  The search results will include either of the specified search terms or both.
eg. aboriginal OR indigenous


Using NOT narrows a search by excluding certain terms.  eg. migration NOT forced migration
The search results will contain the word 'migration' except where it is preceded by 'forced'.

For an online tutorial about Boolean operators, see this one by the University of Adelaide Library.

Developing a search strategy

An interactive online module. Approximate duration: 10 minutes.

Place a Hold Request

Search by subject heading

To find items by subject, go to Advanced search, select in subject from the drop-down list, and enter your terms in the search box. Alternatively, do a Basic search and refine by subject using the Topic facets on the left-hand side of the search results screen.

Some subject terms might be:

  • community
  • environmental health
  • epidemiology
  • health policy
  • health promotion
  • health psychology
  • medical care
  • medicinal policy
  • public health
  • sociology medical
  • world health

Subheadings or extensions can be applied to subject headings to narrow the search. Some examples are:

  • rural health - Australia
  • health - social aspects