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Using Primo

A guide to using the ANU Library search and discovery platform

Using Advanced Search

The Advanced Search option offers many features that allow you to specify additional lines of criteria, which are not available with the Simple Search. You can also select filters to further refine your search.

To get started select advanced SuperSearch from the ANU Library homepage:

If you are already in the Primo search and discovery platform you can select Advanced Search to the right of the search box.

Advanced search options explained

The Advanced Search page contains the following options:

1. Search for

This allows you to search across all resources, or refine to specific collections i.e. course readings.

2. Field selector

For each search line, this parameter allows you to narrow the search to all search fields or a particular field (such as title, author, or subject).

3. Search type

For each search line, this parameter indicates how your search terms are compared against the search field. You can choose from the following options:

  • contains - returns results that contain all words in the phrase, but the words may be in a different order and may not be as close together.
  • is (exact) - returns results that contain phrases that exactly match the phrases specified in the query.
  • starts with - returns results that contain words that start with the specified string. This type performs left-anchored title searches only. When performing a title search, it is recommended that you do not omit any leading articles from the title. For example, The Oxford Handbook is preferred to Oxford Handbook.

4. Boolean Operators

As with basic searches, you can include the AND, OR, and NOT operators between words and phrases in each search line. In addition, the drop-down list allows you to select the operation that is used between search lines.

NOTE: AND, OR, NOT need to be capitalised for PRIMO to recogonise them as Boolean Operators

5. Add a New Line

Advanced searches allow you to include a maximum of seven search criteria lines, which contain the following parameters: operator, field selector, search type, and search box.

6. Filters

Filters allow you to narrow your results to specific material type, language or date range. In the search results, you can include and exclude facets to filter your results further.

Example of Advanced Search

The Advanced Search option is a great place to start when searching for resources for an essay topic or research project.

Using the search filters and refining your results with the facets on the left hand side of the brief results page will optimise your results.

For example, when looking for resources on 'adolescents' and 'mental health' try the following search:

The asterisk *  is added to perform a multiple-character wildcard search. In this case, Primo will search for adolescent, adolescence, and adolescents.  

You can add additional search lines, using the field selector or search types to refine the search further.

Keep building your search by adding new search lines, changing the search types, or refining your results.

Responsible Officer: University Librarian/Page Contact: Library Systems & Web Coordinator