Searching our collections

Find out how to search our collections and manage your search results.

Use LibrarySearch to search for books, journals and other items. You can also refine your results, save searches, and create alerts.

Please note that you will only be able to borrow and request books if you study or work at the University, or if you have joined our libraries through one of the following membership schemes:

Anyone can search LibrarySearch, but unless you're a member of Cardiff University, you will not have access to full text electronic resources; you will see them in search results, but you won’t be able to access them.

All visitors can access some electronic journals and databases through our Walk In Access to Electronic Resources service.

Sign in to LibrarySearch to ensure you have access to all resources. You will be able to retrieve all available results and read the full selection of articles online because you will be authenticated as a licensed user via the University. Please remember that only members of Cardiff University will be able to access all eResources.

Once you are signed in, you can use the full range of LibrarySearch services, such as requesting items, saving items to your e-Shelf and saving searches and alerts.

Choose either the Sign in Staff & Students or Sign in Community & NHS option at the top right of the screen in LibrarySearch to sign in.

WhoLibrarySearch sign in option
Cardiff University students and staffSign in Staff & Students 
Continuing and Professional EducationSign in Community & NHS 
NHS staff memberSign in Community & NHS 
Associate memberSign in Community & NHS 

You will know you are signed in when your name appears at the top right of the screen. Make sure you sign out when you finish using LibrarySearch if you are on a public computer.

The default tab SearchAll@Cardiff searches our electronic and print collections for books, articles and lots more. Enter your keywords in the search box and you will find results which match your search. Use the options on the left-hand side to refine your search.

The Details tab provides more information about the item, and for books sometimes links to a table of contents, which can help you decide if the item is useful for your studies.

Use Advanced Search to search in more specific ways – for example, searching for the keywords in the title only.

Search for the book you need using the default tab SearchAll@Cardiff, then on the left-hand side of your results, choose Books underneath the Resource Type heading. Alternatively you can select the Library Collections tab to ensure your result list is mainly books.

If there is more than one edition and/or an electronic copy of the book, LibrarySearch will group these together into one result. Click View multiple versions to see all editions. Locate the edition you need, then choose Find & Request to find out where it is located, the classmark and whether it is available to borrow.

To only search for books which are available (i.e. which are not already on loan to another user), select Available in the library from the options on the left-hand side.

The quickest way to find a journal using the default tab SearchAll@Cardiff is to search for the title, then on the left-hand side of your results, choose Journals underneath the Resource Type heading.

Alternatively, you can choose Advanced Search and select Journal Title from the first drop-down menu. If online access is available, click on View Online. If you require the print version, click on Find & Request to find out which library holds the journal and the available years.

If you have a large result list you may want to use the Refine My Results options to the left of the screen to narrow the list by date, author, subject or one of the other options.

Select More options under any heading and you will see a new window with a list of subjects relevant to your results; you can include or exclude subjects singly or in combination. The exclude option should be used with care to ensure that you do not lose potentially useful results.

Once you have selected your refine options, they will appear at the top of your results list so it is easy to see how you have chosen to narrow your search (and easy to cancel the selected refine option if needed).

The Creation Date option under Refine My Results allows you to refine your search by the date the item was created. This is useful if you are only interested in items created within a certain time period. You can type the years into the boxes or use the slider to choose your date range.

Save useful books and articles by adding them to your e-Shelf (make sure you are signed in when you do this).

Select the star icon next to the title you wish to save; the system will highlight the star and the item will be saved. Click e-Shelf at the top of the screen to view your saved items. It is possible to print details of items on your e-Shelf, email items to yourself and/or export them to EndNote.

To view a list of the books you have borrowed, select My Library Account and then select List of Historic Loans.

To save a search in order to re-use it later, when you have completed your search, select Save Search at the top of the left hand column. Enter a search name to define your search. Then click Save.

Creating an alert will mean that you are emailed when new results are found that match your search – for example, when new articles are added. Updates will run at scheduled times to see if there are any new items matching your search and you will be emailed the results.

To create an alert, complete your search and select Save Search at the top of the left hand column. Enter a search name to define your search. Select Save & alert and enter an email address that you would like new results sent to.

Alternatively, you can set up alerts for previously saved searches by going to My Library Account, the Searches tab, selecting Saved searches & alerts and clicking Update.

To view your saved searches and alerts, go to My Library Account. Select the Searches tab and select Saved searches & alerts.

Here you can click Update to edit the alert – for example, changing the email address they will be sent to, and delete any alerts that you no longer require.