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Library Search guide: Tips & FAQs

Help with using Search, the Library's discovery platform

Top tips to get started

An infographic of Top tip for Library Search
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Search tips

Library collections
Use the Library collections (click to open large image) scope to only search for items held by Monash University Library.

Quotation marks
Type quotation marks around a string of words to search them as a phrase. This is useful for finding items with known titles.

Full title search
Search for the main title of the journal or the book that contains the article or chapter you were looking for. Find out more about journal search.

"Show only" facets
Use the facets in the "Show only" (click to open large image) section at the top of the facets panel on the left to narrow search results down according to specific needs:

  • Peer-reviewed Journals - Finds content published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Full Text Online - Finds rescources to which the Library has provided full text access
  • Available in the Library - Finds items that are available at a physical library location at the time of the search

New Search is live

Take a sneak peek at the new features:


What is tagging?

Tags are words or phrases you can assign to items to help you organise and remember items. You can assign as many tags as you like. Tags can be shared.

Tags assigned to an item are listed on tagging panel in the Reviews & Tags tab. They can be displayed as one of the following:

  • Cloud - An alphabetic list of tags where the size of the text reflects the popularity of the tag, that is, the number of items you or the community have assigned to this tag.
  • List - A list of the tags arranged in order of popularity, so that the most popular tag appears at the top of the list. The number of items that have been assigned this tag appears in parentheses to the right of the tag.

Using the tagging panel, you can:

  • View all tags assigned to this item
  • Search for all items that have been assigned one of this item's tags
  • Assign and remove tags for this item (sign in required)

A full record of an article with the 'Review & Tags' tab open. A list of tags are displayed on the right hand side.

How do I tag?

The tags you see are listed in order of popularity, with the most popular tag at the top of the list. You can see all the tags you are using, as well as everyone else's tags for this item.

When you assign a tag, keep in mind the following question. "What tags or words will help me remember this page a few months from now?" This is a good starting point for assigning tags. You make up tags as you need them, and use the tags that make the most sense to you.

You can do the following:

  • Assign an existing tag to the current item. Select the box next to the tag you want to assign to the item or type the tag name into the Add or delete tags for this item area. You can check as many tags as you want. If you are typing the tag names into the Add or delete tags for this item area, type a comma between each tag name.
  • Assign a new tag to the current item. Type the name of the new tag in the Add or delete tags for this item area.
    Note: Tags must not exceed 35 characters and can contain only letters, numbers, hyphens, underscores, and apostrophes.
  • Remove your tag from the current item. Delete the tag in the Add or delete tags for this item area or uncheck the tag in the list of tags.

Note: You must sign in to create and edit tags. Do not delete existing tags from the Add or delete tags for this item area unless you want to remove them from this item.

The tag editing screen

How do I search for tags?

A list of tags is available in the Tags page, where they are arranged according to how recently they were assigned and their popularity. The most popular tag list can also be viewed as a cloud.

You can search for additional tags that do not appear on the Tags page by typing a search string in the Search for Tag area and then clicking GO.

Tags view of Search

Why am I seeing the message " Your search did not match any physical resource in the library. Link not available. Having problems? Check: Search tips" when I clicked on the View It tab?

Sometimes the system cannot automatically direct you to the appropriate resources online, hence the message in the View Online or Get It tab.

Try an alternative search:

  1. Select the "Articles, books & databases" drop-down option (on the search box) to filter your search results
  2. Search for the title of the journal or the book that contains the article or chapter
  3. Find more search tips in the box above
  4. Try these tutorials online (in the box on the left) for some research ideas

If your search still does not match any resource in the library, place a document delivery request (staff , postgraduates and honours only).

More FAQs (click to expand)

EndNote asks me to select an import filter when I use "Export to EndNote Desktop (RIS)".

Why do I get an error message when searching the Monash Library Catalogue in EndNote?

Can I transfer my e-shelf and saved searches to an alumni account after I graduate?

Why is my log-in details not working properly?

Browser security warning / blank page in Online Access

When accessing links within Search, resources maybe linking to secure (https://) or non-secure (http://) pages. You may see an error message on your browser similar to the one below or a blank page, typically on the Online Access section, when accessing these types of resources.

browser security warning example screenshot

a screenshot of a security warning in Chrome browser when the View It tab in Search is opened

Make sure you can trust the content before overriding the security features of the browser you are using.

Follow these instructions on how to enable blocked content on Firefox, Chrome & IE .

Issue using Search for some FireFox and Chrome browser users

There have been recent issues of some users getting blank screens when connecting to Search via Chrome or Firefox. These issues may be related to browser user profiles and we are currently working on finding the cause and a resolution. In the meantime here are a few options to work around the problem:

#1 Preferred option: Browse in private browsing mode.

#2 Using an alternate URL.
Note that this URL can change when we do a server upgrade.

#3 Drastic option:  Creating a new browser user profile.
Note that this will reset your bookmarks and extensions.

For non-Monash staff or students

Passwords for non-Monash staff or students

  • Your barcode as your Username
  • Your family name as your Password
  • If you have changed password via Account settings in Search since the initial setup (see the next section), your password will be the new one you chose

For additional security you can change your password using the following steps:

  1. Sign into Search, using your default Username and password. Note the sign-in link is at the top right hand of the Search home page
  2. Open the link to your account settings, by left clicking on the My Loans link at the top right hand of the Search home page
  3. In the My Loans screen, look for the Accounts settings option at the left hand side of the screen
  4. Now left click on the Edit Details link at the bottom of the screen, to open the update Personal Details option.
    Account Settings screen in 'My Loans' with 'Editi Details' section lighlighted
  5. Use the Update Login Credentials link at the bottom of the screen to access the option to change your password.
  6. Once you save the change, you will be advised that the update was successful.

NOTE: If you use this option to change your password, your must keep a record of it.

Problem signing in?

User name displays as “Firstname Lastname” and none of the loans or e-shelf records appear?

If your user information in the Library system is incomplete, Search may use an alternative service to sign you in and will not give you access to your full record. Contact the Library if this occurs.

Signing into Search failed using Monash computer account?

The library has in the past experienced system wide failure of the connections between a number of our search and discovery applications, and the University's authentication system. If this problem reoccurs, try one of the followings.

Check your account for:

Clear your browser cache regularly

Search has been written to take advantage of your browser's caching functionality, which usually, will speed up Search response times.

Browser caching works best if you carry out a few regular maintenance tasks on your computer. If you haven't cleaned your browser cache recently, or if you're working with a Windows operating system, and you haven't run the Windows Cleanup process recently, Search's caching of pages can cause performance issues. To resolve these:

How to flush DNS server

If you encounter an "Internal Server Error" while accessing Search you might need to clear your computer's DNS and browser cache. To do so, use the following steps

  • For Windows users:
    1. Click on the Start button in the bottom left hand corner.
    2. Select the run option
    3. When the run box opens, type in ipconfig /flushdns and press OK.
  • For Mac users
    1. in terminal, type dscacheutil -flushcache
    2. hit enter

It may also help your system's performance to clear your cache and cookies. If neither of these processes help and you are accessing Search from home, try to restart your modem and computer.

Reset browser security settings

Customised web browser security settings can sometimes interfere with Search and result in error messages being displayed when certain links are clicked on. It is useful to reset these settings when troubleshooting by returing your browser to its default state. 

How to report an issue:

1. Submit a Remedy ticket via:

2. Provide:
     a. description of the problem
     b. screenshot of the issue
     c. your browser and OS details
     d. your account username (especially if you are logging in using a staff-like/student-like account)


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