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Library Search guide: Tips on using Search

Help with using Search, the Library's discovery platform

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An infographic of Top tip for Library Search

Tips on how to search (text version)

Sign in

If you are a member we suggest you Sign in. Signing in will allow you to access all the library search tools such as make and manage requests, Save favourites and include searches in your search history and allows you to access online resources.

Using Keywords

Most Searches begin with keywords. The keywords or phrases chosen will determine the success or failure of your search. It is worth taking the time to identify keywords or terms that define your topic. These will then form the basis of your search to see what resources the library has on that topic.

Exact or phrase search

Add quotation marks around a string of words to search them as a phrase.

This is useful if you know the title of a book, chapter, journal or article.


Adding to or Replacing the end of a keyword with the asterisk (*) broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.

Boolean operators

Using the words OR, NOT or AND  allows you to narrow or broaden your search.

Use OR to help gather synonyms, NOT helps to eliminate, AND to require all keywords.