Search tips

You will search faster and get better results if you understand the search options available in LibrarySearch.

Know what you are looking for?

Try these search options if you know the details of the item, such as its title.

Browse Search

Select a browse list and enter a search query to browse our collections. You can browse using the alphabetical lists of subjects, authors and titles. You can also use call numbers to browse, which is like browsing a virtual bookshelf.

e-Journals A-Z

The quickest way to find e-journals by title. You can either use the search box, or browse e-journal titles alphabetically.

Citation Linker

Citation Linker can take you straight to a specific issue of a journal, book or an article. Use it if you have the details for the item (for example, from your course reading list). ISSN and ISBN search options are also available.

Found too many—or not enough—useful results?

Here are some tips for improving your search results.


Use quotation marks around a phrase, making sure that words appear in the exact order. You can combine both words and phrases in your search.

For example:

climate change Australia

LibrarySearch is using AND between keywords and phrases by default, so with this search you’ll find records containing both ‘climate change’ and ‘Australia’.

Including words

To find records, which include at least one of the words or phrases, type OR between them.

For example:

film OR movie

Excluding words

To exclude words or phrases from your search results, type NOT before the word or phrase you want to exclude.

For example:

video NOT YouTube

Grouping words

Use parentheses () to group words you are searching for.

For example:

Shakespeare (tragedy OR sonnet)

With this search you’ll find records that contain ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘tragedy’, ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘sonnet’, as well as records that contain all three words. Without parentheses this search will not work properly.

Remember, always type OR and NOT (called Boolean operators) in uppercase letters. Otherwise, LibrarySearch will treat them as keywords.


Wildcards are single characters that allow you to expand your search.

Use a question mark (?) wildcard to replace a single character in a word.

For example:


With this search you will find records containing both ‘woman’ and ‘women’.

Use an asterisk (*) wildcard to replace multiple characters in a word.

For example:


With this search you will find records containing ‘behaviour, ‘behavioural’ and ‘behaviourally’, as well as ‘behavior’,‘behavioral’ and ‘behaviorally’ (American spelling).

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