Skip to main content.
Undergraduate study, Queen Mary, University of London

How do I search the database?

Search the catalogue, or persons or places indexes for records relating to your area of interest. The search enables you to perform “Any text Field” searches, and also to search specifically on certain fields

Refine search criteria
By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However you can choose to change the default search criteria by clicking the “Refine Search Criteria” option. There are three ways to refine the search option:

  • With all the words
  • With at least one of the words
  • Without the words

Follow the on-screen annotations next to and inside the search entry boxes to refine the search criteria.

By default, the Boolean “And” is assumed, for example if you enter Train in the Title field and Station in the Description field, only records containing both 'Train' and 'Station' (in the respective fields) will be found, records containing just one of these words will not be shown in the search results.

Searching on picklist fields
If the field on which you are searching is a “picklist” field (a field in which the content is restricted to a limited list) it will appear with a drop down list from which you can select your search term.

Searching Terms
The Term field is an option on the catalogue search page.

Term links to separate “authority file” databases from which you can select a subject term to search on.

To search in the term field, you can either:

  • type a word into the Term search field and click Search

If you find 'no results matching your search criteria', it is possible the term that you entered does not exist in the authority database. Try searching for a different term, or try entering the term in the Any text field.

  • type a word into the Term search field and click the [Terms] button to the right of the field.

If the term you have entered exists in the authority file the term will be displayed along with any broader, narrower, related terms.
It is then possible to browse across other terms. When you click Select, the term currently selected will copy across to the Search screen. If the term you have entered does not exist in the authority file you will have the option to either go back to the Search screen or browse all the top level terms.