Library SEARCH

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Library home page, advanced search link is highlighted under the main search bar

Library SEARCH is the Library's main search engine and it is available from the Library homepage.

This tutorial will show you how to use Library SEARCH to find resources using search tips specifically designed for library databases.

How to use this tutorial.

Let's get started!

Library SEARCH

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This tutorial is starting on the Advanced Search screen. Why?

Advanced Search gives us more search boxes to build a more focused, efficient search. 

Search Words

Let's use an example topic:

"Discuss how popular culture may affect movies"

Suggested answer

More about search words

Search tips - phrase searching

Enter the search words, "popular culture" into the top box. Look at the image below to see how we have entered the phrase "popular culture".

(Click to enlarge the image)

Advanced search filter for any field containing the phrase popular culture which is in quotation marks

We have used double quotation marks.

This will find an exact phrase to make your search more relevant.

More about phrase searching

Search tips - using *

Look at the image below to see how we have entered


(Click to enlarge the image)

Second line of Advanced Search filters contains the search term movie with an asterisk at the end

We have used an asterisk * as this:

  • finds every word that starts with the letters before the *
  • saves time as entering movie* will find the word movie as well as movies.

More about using *

Search tips - AND

Enter your search words into the boxes as shown.

(Click to enlarge the image)

Advanced Search screen highlighting the word AND has been selected from the drop down menu in the second line of search filters


  • Enter your search words into the different boxes.
  • Use AND (from the drop down menu) to find sources containing both of your search words.
  • Click Search.

 Search tips explained

Reviewing your results for relevant items

Scroll through your results to take a look at the sources found. If you're not getting useful results you may need to add to or change your search words.

Click on a title for more details about the source.

Screenshot of one of the records on the search results screen

In the details of the title, scroll down to see subjects.

Screenshot of a full record after clicking on the title of a result

Change your search when needed

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Subjects describe what the article is about.

Review suggested answer

Let's include films in our search

But before we do...

Change your search when needed

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Where would we place * to find both the words film and films?

Search Tip - using OR to include additional search word

Let's include film* into our original search.

1. Scroll to the top of the page

2. Add OR film* (click to enlarge the image)

3. Click Search

Advanced Search screen showing the search term “OR film*” with asterisk, typed after "movie*" with asterisk.


OR finds either of your search words.
This saves time as it broadens a search to find sources about either movies or films as both may be relevant to our example topic.

Search tips summary

Refine your results by Source Types

To the left of your screen is the 'Refine search results' column. On mobile, select the filter button above your results.

1. Scroll down to Source Types.
2. Click on Show More to view all Source Types

Search results can include news, magazines, academic journals, trade publications, books and ebooks.

Review your assessment task outline. It may indicate the types of sources you need to use for that task. (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles). 

The most frequently used sources are books and ebooks, and academic/peer-reviewed journal articles.

Limit by Source Type - ebooks

To limit your search results to ebooks which you can read online from any location.

1. Under Source Types, select Books/ebooks

2. Under Availability, select Available online

Screenshot of source types with books ebooks highlighted

availability with available online highlighted

You have now limited your search results to ebooks.

Remove ebooks filter

Let's remove our books and ebooks filter so that we can limit to journal articles (our next screen).

At the top left click on Reset filters

Active filters image with reset filters highlighted

Limit by Source Types - Academic/peer-reviewed articles

To limit by Academic/Peer-reviewed journal articles select 'Peer-reviewed Journals' under 'Availability'.

Availability filter with Peer-reviewed journals highlighted

Sign in for a better SEARCH

  • Access results only available to UOW students and staff.
  • Save searches and add to your favourites list.
  • Place requests and manage your library record.

Library homepage showing “sign in for complete results” link highlighted under main search box.


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