Skip to content

Library Search: Basic search

Help with using Search, the Library's discovery platform

Performing Basic searches

Just type one or more words you are looking for and click the Go button.

Limit the result set using Show only and Refine results facets in the left panel. In this way you can specify such parameters as type of resource, campus and date range, either separately or in combination.

Selecting the search scope

The search scope defines where the system should perform the search. You can change the scope of your search by selecting a search scope from the drop-down list:

All resources

The default scope. It searches across all library resources including past exam papers, the Monash University Research Repository and a large portion of database content as detailed as an individual article.

Library collections

This scope limits the search to all library recources that individual records exist for each item including physical resources and electronic books, journals, databases and digitised readings.

Rare Books Collection

This scope limits the search to the library's Rare Books special collection.

Popular databases

This scope searches across a collection of databases that the Library subscribes to and are most widely used.

Searching for a phrase

To search for a phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase. You can combine both words and phrases in your search.

For example, to search for global warming as one term, type the following in the search box:

phrase search

This is useful for researching on a topic or finding items with their titles.

Note: If you do not enclose the phrase with quotation marks, the system will find items that contain the individual words in the phrase, regardless of whether these words are located next to each other in the order specified.

Searching using Boolean operators

Searching for any specified words or phrases

You can search for items that contain at least one of the words or phrases you type in the search box. To do so, type OR between the words or phrases.

For example, to search for items with the word Irish or the word Celtic, type the following in the search box:

OR search

Excluding words or phrases

You can exclude items that contain specific words or phrases. To do so, type NOT and then type the word or phrase to exclude.

For example, to search for items with the word Celtic and exclude any of these items with the word Irish, type the following in the search box:

NOT search

Note: To use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) within search phrases, you must enter them in uppercase letters. Otherwise, Search will consider them as part of the query.

Searching using wildcard characters

You can include the following wildcard characters in your searches:

  • ? enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women, and so forth.
  • * enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally.

Grouping terms within a query

You can use parentheses to group terms within the same search to utilise Boolean operators and/or wildcard characters at once.

For example, to search for Shakespeare and either tragedy or sonnet, type the following in the search box:

group search

Note: You may wish to consider using the Advanced search option to achive more flexibility when constructing a complicated search query.