Tips for using Libraries Australia Search

To search these tips, press ctrl + f and type in a search term. (or cmd + f in Safari)

Basic Search

101 Search results are not case sensitive, i.e. the same results will be retrieved whether your search terms are in upper or lower case.
102 To search on a number (e.g. ISBN/ISMN/ISSN,ANBD number, Immutable number) just type the number in the search box and search.  See Appendix 3 of the Search Manual for other types of numbers you can search on.
103 You can search with or without punctuations marks, e.g. “structure, language, and style : a rhetoric-handbook” or “structure language and style a rhetoric handbook”.
104 You can leave hypens in or use a space, e.g. make-up or make up.
105 Always omit diacritics, ampersands (&) and initial articles.

Advanced Search

Title Searches

211 When doing a Title search the following fields will be searched:

  • title proper, other title information, statement of responsibility and general material designation,
  • series title,
  • series added entry uniform title,
  • uniform title,
  • added entry title.
212 When doing a title search type in the complete title (except for initial articles), i.e. include prepositions (in, to, of) and articles within the tile(the, a, an).
213 Title searches assume that the search terms you input will match the title exactly or at least match the beginning of the title.  If you are not sure of the complete title, just type in the first few words, starting from the beginning of the title.

Search Operands

Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

311 Don’t type in the Boolean operator AND when using more than one word in your search query because it‘s applied automatically by the system, e.g. cats dogs will retrieve the same as cats AND dogs.
312 Only records where both terms appear in the same keyword field will be retrieved, e.g. for the search cats dogs if one term is a Title Keyword and one in the Notes, then that record won’t be retrieved. For these types of searches use Advanced Search.
313 Type in and (i.e. in lowercase) if you want to retrieve records with ‘and’ in them, e.g. lion witch and wardrobe.
314 You must type in the Boolean operator OR in upper case when searching for records that contain either cats OR dogs.
315 Type in or (i.e. in lowercase) if you want to retrieve records with ‘or’ in them, e.g. good or evil will retrieve Uranium: for good or evil? / by Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (i.e. records which have all 3 terms in them).
316 Use the minus sign (-) to indicate the Boolean operator NOT (i.e. don’t type the word NOT into your search query), e.g. cats –dogs.
317 When using NOT you may retrieve records that have the term Penguin on its own in one field but Penguin Books in another, e.g. 260 $b Penguin Books 490 $a Penguin Shakespeare Series. Use Advanced Search for NOT searches, e.g. Any Keyword penguin NOT Any Keyword books.

See the Boolean help page for more information.

Truncation & Wildcard Operators

321 Use the truncation symbol (*) after a word stem, or at the end of an initial in a name, to retrieve words beginning with that word stem or initial, e.g. danc* will retrieve records with the words dancing, dances, dancer,etc; jones c* will retrieve records with the names jones charles, jones catherine, etc.
322 When using the truncation symbol for a phrase, * must appear at the end of the search line.
323 Use the wildcard symbol (#?) if you are not sure of: the spelling of a word; or, an exact title or subject heading, e.g. organi#?ation will retrieve both organisation and organization.
324 When using the wildcard symbol, each #? only replaces 1 character, e.g. t##??th will only retrieve teeth, tooth, truth, tenth, etc. and not twelfth or Turkish.


401 Once selected, limits remain for the session unless you change or clear them, i.e. when a new search is begun the limits previously selected will still be selected on the new search screen.
402 All limits are available when searching on Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD). Not all these limits are available when searching on other databases.

Browse Terms

Title (Browses Title Exact index)

511 Omit or include initial articles, e.g. the, an, l’.
512 If unsure of an exact title, type in as accurately as possible and then browse the list.
513 If the title is long try typing the first few words.

Author (Browses Name Exact index)

521 For personal names, enter the family name first, e.g. Clark Mary
522 For corporate names, the correct form of the name must be entered, e.g. for the ‘Australian Senate’ enter australia parliament senate

Subject Heading (Browses Subject Exact index)

531 Useful to find a list of headings related to a search term, e.g. unemployment
532 Sometimes you need to know the correct form of the heading, e.g. for ‘Australian history’ enter australia history
533 The system will not retrieve headings in which the search term is not at the beginning, e.g. a search on unemployment will not find seasonal unemployment.

Getting Records

701 To email records to multiple email addresses separate the addresses with either a semi-colon (;) or comma (,).
702 If one of the records you have selected for download does not support MARC format,you will not be able to download any of the records in that format. Please either remove that record from the records to be downloaded or select an alternate format.
703 If Asian or other non-Roman characters appear as boxes in downloaded records you may need to install a unicode font that has the relevant characters.