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Keyword searching

Keyword Searching

When searching by Keyword, enter a word or words from the author, title, series title, subject, organization, conference name, contents, summary or a line in a poem or song.

Search Tips



Exact phrase

“world wide web”
“aboriginal art”

Multiple words are searched together as one phrase

Search/Boolean operators

(western australia or queensland) and (state library or public library) and not catalogue

AND - find all words present
OR - find any words present
AND NOT - exclude this word
( ) - group words together


inter* (finds internet but not international)
col*r (finds color and colour)
dost** (finds dostoyevsky)

Single asterisk allows up to 5 characters in the middle or end of a word
Double asterisk allows unlimited characters at the end of a word


organi?ation (finds organization and organisation)

? matches any single character in the specified position in the word


noise near pollution
battye within 5 west australia

Near finds in the same field within 10 words of each other in any order
Within # finds words in the same field within # words of each other in any order

Field Limits

t: prisoner and a:rowling
finds Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling

Specify fields to search t:title a:author s:subject n:note


Red & green
Red | green
Red ! green
Red ~ green

& is equivalent to AND
| is equivalent to OR
! is equivalent to NOT
~ is equivalent to NEAR
apostrophe is ignored
remaining punctuation is converted to a space



Words can be entered in uppercase, lower case or mixed case

Relevancy Ranking of Keyword Search Results




Most Relevant
Most Relevant Titles     

The title, "Climate change and world agriculture" is considered among the Most Relevant because the phrase “climate change” appears in the main title.

The search phrase appears in the main title

Highly Relevant
Highly Relevant Titles     

The title, "Greenhouse : planning for climate change and other key issues” is considered Highly Relevant because the phrase "climate change" appears in the subtitle.

The search phrase appears in the sub-title or other title information

Very Relevant
Very Relevant Titles   

The title, "Carbon footprint : what it is, why it is important, how you can lower it" is considered Very Relevant because the term "climate change" appears in the summary.

The search phrase is in the contents, series notes, or subject headings

Relevant Titles   

The title, "World weather, climate & climatic change” is considered Relevant because the terms "change" and "climate" appear in the title/subtitle, although not as an adjacent phrase

The Boolean AND pulls words from the search phrase in the main title and/or sub-title

Other Relevant
Other Relevant Titles   

The title, "Fight global warming now : the handbook for taking action in your community " is considered an Other Relevant title because the term "climate" appears in the subject and the term "change" appears in the summary.

The Boolean AND pulls the words from the search phrase from anywhere in the recordN


Other points to consider when entering your search:

To repeat a Keyword search you had conducted earlier without having to re-enter your search:

  • Select the ‘down arrow’ appearing to the right of the ‘Search History’ box that appears at the top of the search results screen; then
  • Select the search you wish to repeat and the results of the search will automatically display.
  • Select the 'modify search' button.

What to do if your search was unsuccessful

  • Check the words which display in the search box at the top of the search results screen to ensure that no “typos” or spelling mistakes were made when the search was entered. If this has occurred, simply correct the words which display in the search box and then select the ‘Search’ button which displays to it’s right.
  • Select the 'modify search' button.

More tips on searching are available here