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Library Search advanced tools

Advanced search

The Advanced Search can be accessed using the downward pointing arrow to the left of the search box.

Accessing Advanced Search

The Advanced Search allows you to choose which database fields e.g. Author or Book/article title, you want search for a particular term.

Advanced Search example

This means that if you have discovered a reference to a resource that you want to read, you can use the details of the reference to search for the resource.


Extending your search

When you mouse-over a result you will see further details of the article appear in to the left of your results.

Within this information you will see light blue links to related content.

Article information

You could use these links to see all of the results which fall into the category of the link e.g. clicking on the 'Feminine beauty (Aesthetics)' link would give you a list of all the articles available from the library on the subject of Feminine beauty (Aesthetics).

Similarly, clicking on the link of an Author's name (in this case Joanna Freuh) will give you a list of resources written by this author.


Change language

If you would prefer to use Library Search in a language other than English, you can use the language selector by clicking on the 'English' link in the top right of the screen, and then selecting your preferred language from the list.

Selecting a Language

If the language you wish to use in not available, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Results beyond the library collection

If you would like to search for resources which are not immediately available in full text, you can do this by clicking on the 'Add results beyond your Library's collection' box.

Adding results beyond the immediate collection

This will allow you to search a much broader range of resources but is likely to mean that you will have to use the Library Inter-library loans service to obtain articles which you find that are beyond the library's collection


Add to folder



Emailing multiple results



Email results/details/link (from third panel)



Accessing content when not taken directly to the article


Library Search tips


Phrase searching

Library Search allows phrase searching. This means that if you insert your search terms in double quotation marks (" ") Library Search will prioritise finding your terms together in the order you have given.

Normal search Phrase search

This is the best way to narrow your search (the example above shows the number results reduced by over 85%), but it may also mean that you are missing out on results that are relevant to your research, but don't use the phrase you have used.

Boolean operators

Library Search allows you to use the Boolean operations AND, OR and NOT. These must be written in capitals to be recognised.

By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. To expand your search results use the OR operator e.g. “textile OR cloth” will find results that contain either term.

This can be combined with phrase searching e.g. “teacher education” OR “educator training”.

To exclude results from your search use the NOT operator before a search term e.g. searching for Spongebob NOT Squarepants will find articles about spongebobs and exclude any relating to the cartoon character.


Library Search allows you to use wildcards when you are searching. Wildcards represent one or more letters in a word to take into account variations in spelling and words with a common root.

The question mark (?) can be used to represent a single character within a word e.g. searching for the author 'Ols?n' will find results results by the authors as 'Olsen' and 'Olson'.

The asterisk (*) can be used to represent zero or more characters, within a word or at the end of it e.g. searching for 'Colo*r' would find results containing 'Color' and 'Colour', but also 'Colorer' and 'Colourer'; and searching for 'Beautif*' will find results containing 'Beautiful', 'Beautifully' and 'Beautify'.

Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search word.


Library Search


The new Library Search allows you to search for physical books and journals in the library, e-books, and journal articles within the Library's online collections, all at the same time.

This page will help you to understand some of the basics of Library Search, but additional Search Tips and Advanced Tools are also available.

The results are displayed like this:

Library Search results screen

You will see that the main part of the results screen is divided into three areas:

  1. The grey list of links on the right allows you to refine your search (get fewer results) by excluding certain results from your initial search.
  2. The main part of the screen allows you to see a little more information about each result, and access it.
  3. The empty space on the left will fill with more information when you mouse-over any result (this may not appear, depending on your screen size/resolution).


Sorting your results

Your search results will automatically be sorted by relevance (how often and how close together your search terms are).

You can also sort your results by date. To do this, click on the 'relevance' link at the top of your list of results and then click on one of the Date options which appears.

Sorting your results


Refining your search

Clicking on any link in this column will limit your results to items within that category e.g. you can limit your search to only journal articals by clicking on the 'Journal Article' link in the 'Content Type' section. This would give you results more related to academic research in the area of your search.

You can also refine your search to a specific Discipline (subject area) by using the links here.

Clicking on the 'More...' link at the bottom of each section will list all of the options available for refining your search.

More options

This will open a new menu to the side showing you all of the options available.

Select a Dicipline

You can sort this menu by the number of results for each option or alphabetically.

Sort options

This means that your search can be refined from thousands of results down to double figures in only two or three clicks.


Date slider

The date slider allows you to quickly refine your results to a range of dates e.g. the last ten years (the standard for academic rigour), by clicking on and dragging either of the two pins underneath the graph.

This will also tell you how many of your results were published in that year.

Publication date slider

You can also enter a more specific date range (down to the level of specific days) into the boxes below the slider.


Clearing filters

If you wish to return to the full list of your search results (e.g. the number before you started refining your search) you can do this by clearing on the 'Clear filters' at the top of the column.

Clear filters link



When you mouse over a result you will see that the article information panel has a 'Cite' button at the top.

Article information panel options

Clicking on this will give you the citation for the item, which you can use in your assignments if you need to reference the resource.

You will be able to copy and paste the text of the citation into the reference section of your assignment, or email it to yourself for later use using one of the 'Email' buttons.