Library Search Guide

Library Search enables users to search the Library's online and print resources through a single search box. You can start your search from either the Library or from Library Search. It can be a very powerful research tool and this guide will help you get the most out of your searches.

We have also created two easy print guides, Library Search - Introduction and Library Search - Advanced, and video guide called How to use Library Search.

Access my Library account

Through My Account you can access and manage your loans, requests, fees and fines, blocks and messages, and your personal contact details.

To access My Account, sign in to Library Search, click the down arrow under Menu, select My Account and log in with your username and password. To access your loan history, select Loans, click the drop down arrow and then choose previous and historic loans.

Find items for my course

You can search for items held in the Library High Demand Collection using your paper’s course code (e.g. BIOMO101), then limit to Books. The list will show only when the trimester starts. All the usual guidelines around the High Demand Collection apply.

Make the most of my search

Sign in to get complete results and to request items.

Search for known items

If you know the title of a book or journal article, type it in the search box of Library Search. It will search our print and online resources. Punctuation and capital letters are not necessary, e.g. Tikanga Māori living by Māori values.

Limit my search scope

Before or during your search you can limit your search scope to Books/Ebooks or Journal Articles. As you type your query, a dropdown will appear with these options. Otherwise, you can limit your search using the dropdown menu to the right of the search box (if available).

Be aware this may exclude some material such as government documents and reports, theses dissertations etc.

Search for a topic

You can search using keywords or subject terms, e.g. management theory.

Use subject headings found in the full record (click on the title of an item) for alternative search terms. The subject headings are listed under Subject in the full record details.

Refine results

You can refine your results list by choosing filters on the right. Filters limit the results by Availability, Resource Type, Subject, Author, Publication Date or Library Location etc. If you want more options, click show more… to expand the list.

  • Select multiple filters by ticking the corresponding box to the left of the term, then click Apply filters
  • To exclude a term, hover your cursor over the term then click the red exclude this on the right
  • You have the ability to retain filters in a session.  Once selected, hover the cursor over the term(s), which are now under the Active filter heading, then click the padlock icon to lock in place (on a tablet or mobile device, touch the filter to display the padlock).
  • To remove a filter from your active filters, click the cross to remove it. You can also unlock it by clicking on the padlock and it won't be carried over to your next search.

Clear your filters by clicking Reset filters (Note: you must unlock each padlock first before clearing your results or they will remain active).

Expand your search

In some cases, expanding your search may provide better results as this includes items that exist outside our collections but can be requested via Interlibrary Loan. To do this, in the right-hand column, select Expand my search. See Request an item outside our collections (Interlibrary loan).

See Creating a Search Strategy for further ideas on how to refine your results.

Search for journal articles and journals

If you are searching for a known journal article, type the title in the search box.  It should appear in your results list.  If the article title does not appear, search by the journal title via Journal Search.

  • Type the title of the journal in the search box
  • Click on the title
  • Choose the database that corresponds with the date range of your article
  • Locate the relevant year, volume and issue
  • Find the article title
  • You can download, save or print

Find a journal article using keywords

  • Search using keywords or subject terms e.g. management theory
  • Refine by Peer-reviewed journals and the resource type Articles
  • See Search for a topic and refine results for more information

Find a topic within a journal

Find information on a topic within a specific journal by using Advanced Search.

  • Select title under Any field
  • Select is (exact) under contains
  • Type the journal's title
  • On a new line, add keywords relating to a topic.
  • Search

Find a copy

Get a physical copy

If the record says available at, it is a physical copy.

  • Click the title of the item to see its full record. This displays its bibliographic details, a description of its contents, holdings information and its availability status
  • Get it will tell you where to find the item on the shelves.
  • You can use its call number or click the Map button or Show Location on Map to find the item's location on the shelves.
  • Use the Virtual Browse function to find physical items on the same subject as your original item.

Request a physical copy

If the item is issued out or in storage, click the Request link next to Request Options and fill out your details. (If you do not see a request link, sign in.)

If the item is in the High Demand Collection, click the Request link, then choose booking and enter a time. For more information, see Using the High Demand Collection.

Access an electronic or digital copy

The Library subscribes to databases that give online access to journal articles and ebooks. If the record says Online access or Full text available, it is an electronic or digital copy.


  • Click the title of the item to see its full record. This displays its bibliographic details and an abstract (if available)
  • Use the Related reading list on the right to view recommended items in the same subject area as the article (if available)
  • View it will tell you the database/s that hold the article
  • Once you are in the database, click the PDF link to read, print, or save the article


  • Click the title of the item to see its full record. This displays its bibliographic details and a brief description or table of contents (if available)
  • View it will tell you the database that holds the ebook
  • Once you are in the database, you can read online, create an account, download a chapter or print a chapter. See Library video guides for more information

Request an item outside our collections (Interlibrary loan)

Occasionally the results may include items that are not available in the University of Waikato Library collections, especially if you have ticked the Expand my search filter. Usually these can be requested from other libraries (New Zealand and overseas) through Interlibrary loan.

To request the item:

  • Click on Check holdings, No Full text, or the item's title.
  • Under Get It, there will be information saying that the item is not available in the University of Waikato Library and to request the item from another Library.
  • Click Request Interlibrary Loan.

This will auto populate a request form in your Interlibrary Loan account. Once all the information is entered, you can submit the request. See Use Interlibrary Loan for help.

Use My Favorites to keep track of your searches

Use My Favorites to keep track of records, searches and history.

Following are ways to optimise your future searches:

Keep it

Save individual items to My Favorites by clicking the pin symbol  next to the title. Access your saved items anytime from My Favorites folder. These items can be sorted by author, date or title. Access your saved items anytime from My Favorites folder by clicking on the white pin symbol in the black bar at the top of the page, beside your login name.

Save it

Keep track of search terms by clicking Save query under the search box. Terms will save in My Favorites under Saved searches

Label it

There is the option to assign a label to selected saved items. To do this, select the item by clicking the numbered box next to a title. Then click the pen icon beside the My Favorites heading and type in the name of the label.

Action it

Each item has a number of actions available to it, e.g. importing items to a referencing software, print or email. To view these options click the 3 ellipses (...) in the top right corner of the item. Click the 3 ellipses to make the action tab disappear.

Remember it

You can view the search history of a session by clicking the history symbol (arrow circling around a clock) located at the top of the page. This history disappears when you close that session unless you click the pin symbol to save it.

Search again

To return to your search, click the magnifying glass in the black bar at the top of the page.

Do an Advanced Search

Advanced Search allows you to create a more complex search by combining keywords and concepts. You can tailor your search by specifying particular fields such as author, title or subject, and search for a topic within a journal.

Go to Advanced Search (beside the main search box) to modify by:

Field. You can select Any field or choose a specific field by clicking the down arrow to narrow to Title, Author/creator, or Subject.

Search type. Select from the following:

  • contains - to search individual words within the query
  • is (exact) - treats the query as an exact phrase
  • starts with - search for titles that begin with your query

Material type, Language and Publication Date. You can limit your results accordingly to the selected options.

Operators. You can also use AND, OR and NOT operators between words and phrases, as with basic searches, or you can select these options from the Operator dropdown list to apply to multiple search boxes. When using multiple operators, order of precendence rules normally apply, see Creating a Search Strategy.

Reference an item or link to it's record

Refer to referencing guides available on the Library website. Note: Machine generated citations often miss elements required for referencing so always check citations carefully.

To copy or email your citation from the results page:

  • Click the speech mark icon and choose the relevant referencing style. You can then copy and paste the citation into your document.
  • Click the email icon to email a link and bibliographic details of an item. Copy and paste the citation into the notes field.
  • Click Send to email a link, bibliographic details and citation of an item

To export a citation to referencing software:

  • Click the title of the item to see its full record and navigate to the Send to section
  • Click EXPORT RIS to download the bibliographic details to your chosen referencing software. See also EndNote.

To create a stable link to a Library Search record:

  • To copy a stable, permanent link to an item's Library Search record, click the PERMALINK icon
  • Click COPY THE PERMALINK TO CLIPBOARD or simply highlight the text and ctrl+c.

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