Search Tips

Using quotation marks

To do a precise one word search, put the word in quotation marks. The word "school" will then only return references containing the word "school". If you leave out the quotation marks, the query may also return words that include parts of the search words such as "preschool" or different word forms such as "schooling", “schools”. For example, if you sort the records by ascending date, records may appear on the list top that are far from what you were searching for.

Truncating search word with * (asterisk)

* (asterisk) replaces 0, 1 or more characters in the end or middle of the word:


for example, finds words "test", "testing" and "tester" and other words beginning with "test"


finds words such as ”text” and "test"


Note! Wildcard symbol * cannot be used as the first character of the search term.

Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined with logic operators. Operators AND, +, OR and NOT.

Note! Boolean search operators are entered in CAPITAL LETTERS.


The AND operator between words returns references that include all the search terms. A search without any operator is performed as with operator AND.

Example: a search for references containing both "economics" and "Keynes"

economics Keynes


economics AND Keynes

Both searches find references containing both "economics" and "Keynes".


Search term with initial + operator must exist in every search result:

+economics Keynes

finds records that always contain word "economics" and may contain word "Keynes".


OR operator returns documents containing one or several of the searched terms. You can also use synonyms:

"adult OR grown-up

finds references where either "adult" or "grown-up" or both words appear.


NOT operator excludes records from the search result that contain the term after NOT.

economics NOT Keynes

finds references that contain "economics", but not "Keynes".

Phrase searches

You can perform a precise phrase search enclosing the search terms in quotation marks.

"ancient history"

finds records containing the phrase "ancient history" and not e.g. the phrase "history in the ancient times".

Also single words can be enclosed in quotation marks to search for an exact term, ignoring different conjugations.

Range searches (year value, etc.)

[2002 TO 2003]

finds records that fall into the given year range. Note! The word TO between values must be written in CAPITAL LETTERS. You can also limit the year in the advanced search drop-down menu by Year of publication.

Proximity searches

The tilde ~ symbol marks the proximity of two search terms

"economics Keynes"~10

finds terms "economics" and "Keynes" when they are within max 10 words apart.

Boosting a term

^ character gives more weight to a query term.

Example: the term "Keynes" is given more value in the query:

economics Keynes^5

Fuzzy searches

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a single word term. For example to search for slightly different spellings for surname "Chekhov":


In addition to "Chekhov" this finds surnames such as "Čehov" or "Tchékhov".

An additional parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:


The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.

Advanced searching tips

Search Fields

When you first visit the Advanced Search page, you are presented with several search fields. In each field, you can type the keywords you want to search for. Search operators are allowed.

Each field is accompanied by a drop-down that lets you specify the type of data (title, author, etc.) you are searching for. You can mix and match search types however you like.

The "Match" setting lets you specify how multiple search fields should be handled.

ALL Terms - Return only records that match every search field.
ANY Terms - Return any records that match at least one search field.

The "Add Search Field" button may be used to add additional search fields to the form. You may use as many search fields as you wish.

Search Groups

For certain complex searches, a single set of search fields may not be enough. For example, suppose you want to find books about the history of China or India. If you did an ALL Terms search for China, India, and History, you would only get books about China AND India. If you did an ANY Terms search, you would get books about history that had nothing to do with China or India.

Search Groups provide a way to build searches from multiple groups of search fields. Every time you click the "Add Search Group" button, a new group of fields is added. Once you have multiple search groups, you can remove unwanted groups with the "Remove Search Group" button, and you can specify whether you want to match on ANY or ALL search groups.

In the history of China or India example described above, you could solve the problem using search groups like this:

In the first search group, enter "India" and "China" and make sure that the "Match" setting is "ANY Terms."
Add a second search group and enter "history."
Make sure the match setting next to the Search Groups header is set to "ALL Groups."

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