Library Search

Getting better search results

I entered all the search terms I could think of into Library Search and my search didn't work.

This isn't Google. If you type in a string of words, Library Search will do its best to make sense of it, but the chances are it will give you a whole lot of articles that you don't want.

Library Search needs you to give it commands. In the table below are the commands.

Be sure to use ALL CAPITALS when typing AND OR.

You can also select these commands from drop down menus in the Advanced Search.


  Symbol What does this symbol do?
Phrase "       " searches for words as a phrase "health system" or "leg ulcers"
Truncation * will search for words with the same start eg. medic* = medical, medicine, medically,
Wildcard ? will search for words with different spellings eg. wom?n = women, woman, behavio?r = behaviour, behavior, colo?r = colour, color
Limit search AND

will allow you to find results that contain both search terms

Big hint: Best used between dissimilar concepts eg. environment AND pollution

Expand search


will allow you to find results that have either one of your search terms or both of them

Big hint: Best used between similar terms eg. adolescent OR teenager

Brackets (       ) To enclose search terms (drug* OR alcohol*) AND (teenager* OR adolescent* OR youth)


The video below will show you how to use these search features.


Combining search terms video

Length of video (3.30 minutes)


I don't get it. I think I need to talk to someone who can help me.

The good news is, we are always here to help. The best place to go for getting quick assistance is TASAC. And if you phone, there are real people on the phone, staff employed by CQUniversity who are specially trained to help you with searching.

If you have a complex question, you might need to book a time with a librarian to talk about your research.

8. Please rate us so that we know if we're giving you the right information. This information was:
Very helpful: 64 votes (59.81%)
Good: 26 votes (24.3%)
OK, but I'm still a bit confused: 11 votes (10.28%)
Not helpful: 6 votes (5.61%)
Total Votes: 107