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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 My Favourites and saving searches and alerts.

Click on Sign In at the top right of the screen and select the appropriate option on the next screen.

WhoLibrarySearch sign in option
Cardiff University students and staffStaff & Students
Continuing and Professional EducationCommunity Members
NHS staff memberNHS Members
Associate memberCommunity Members

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.

Enter your keywords in the search box and you will find results which match your search. The default SearchAll@Cardiff box option is selected which searches our entire electronic and print collections for books, articles and lots more.

You can choose other options from the SearchAll@Cardiff menu which will help to focus your search:

OptionWhat is it searching?
Cardiff University Library CollectionsPrint and online collections purchased and subscribed to by Cardiff University
Articles & MoreAll online content to which Cardiff University has access including journal articles, conference papers and book chapters. Searches more widely than our subscribed online resources.
eJournalsTitles of online journals
eBooksTitles and bibliographic details of online books
ORCA (Online Research@cardiff)Theses in Cardiff University’s institutional repository. Full text available for some results.
Special CollectionsMaterial held in Cardiff University’s Special Collections
Cardiff and NHS CollectionsPrint and online collections purchased and subscribed to by Cardiff University and NHS Wales .
NHS Wales Library CollectionsNHS Wales hospital libraries’ local print and online resources, including books in Cardiff University health libraries. Access to subscribed resources for members of NHS Wales only.

You can also use pre-filters below the search box to select a particular item type and where in the record the search terms appear. Use the options on the right-hand side to tweak your results.

The Details section of the item record 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 titles that start with or exactly match your search terms.

You can select Book in the first pre-filter box underneath the search box and then search for the book you need using SearchAll@Cardiff. Alternatively you can search for your book and then on the right-hand side of your results, choose Books underneath the Resource Type heading. You can also select Cardiff University Library Collections from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box 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 See all versions to see all editions. Locate the edition you need, then click on the title and go to the Get It section of the record 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 right-hand side.

The quickest way to find a journal using SearchAll@Cardiff is to search for the title, then on the right-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 the title 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 Tweak my results to the right of the screen to narrow the list by date, author, subject or one of the other options.

Select Show more to expand the list of options. You can include a subject by clicking to the left of it or exclude it by clicking to the right of it. When you have made your selections, click on Apply filters and they will show at the top of the list under the heading Active filters. You can remove any or all of the filters you have applied.

The Creation Date option under Tweak 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 My Favourites. Make sure you are signed in when you do this.

Click on the pin icon in the top right of the result record you wish to save; the pin will change to a pin icon with a line through it to denote it has been 'pinned' to your favourites list. Click on the pin icon in the top right-hand corner of the LibrarySearch screen to go to My Favourites to view your saved items. It is possible to print details of items on your My Favourites list, email items to yourself and/or export them to EndNote.

To view a list of the books you have borrowed, select My Library Account, select Loans and then select Previous and historic loans in the drop-down menu.

To save a search in order to re-use it later, when you have completed your search, click on Save Search at the top of your results list.

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. A yellow banner will appear at the top of the screen with the message 'The search query was saved to your favourites'. Click on the next sentence 'Turn on notification for this query' to set up the alert.

Alternatively, you can set up alerts for previously saved searches by going to My Favourites, selecting Saved Searches and clicking the alert icon beside your chosen saved search.

To view your saved searches and alerts, go to My Favourites and select Saved Searches. To change the email address the alert is sent to, click on the alert icon twice; the second time you select it, you will see a yellow banner at the top of the screen with the message 'Notifications will be sent to'. Click on the next sentence 'Change email address' to edit your email address. To delete an alert, click on the unpin icon to the right of the search.