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Research Guides

ESS205 - Confronting Global Change

Using LibrarySearch to find books, articles, videos

LibrarySearch (Advanced Search)

IMPORTANT - To improve your search experience and gain access to advanced features, always begin by clicking the "SIGN IN" button pictured below (e.g., access eResources, request items).

Sign in button locatedin top right corner


Learn about UofT LibrarySearch interface


Finding Books in LibrarySearch


Finding Journals or Articles in LibrarySearch



Narrow LibrarySearch results to online resources

To narrow your search results to online resources (e.g., eBooks, eJournals, article databases, streamable video / audio):

  1. Enter your search terms
  2. Click on the Search Button (magnifying glass)
  3. On the Search Result page, under Filter your Results on the left side of the screen, locate Show Only heading and click the Online check box (you can also select other filters, including Format - Book, Book Chapters, Articles) 
  4. Click on APPLY FILTERS button at the bottom of screen

screen shot of the Library search page, highlighted items found in the numbered list above this image

Reading results

Once you have input your search terms and clicked the search button, a set of results will appear that conforms to the criteria you identified. An example set of results for "Indigenous languages" and "policy" are pictured in the following image.

Results for indigenous language and policy search with the conference proceeding "Indigenous language revitalization" listed as the first result.

Each results page is divided into two sections. The menu on the left side provides various ways to narrow your search. The content on the right is a list of results comprised of source records. 

Results screen showing the division between filter tools on the left and search results on the right

Each list of results begins with the total number of sources your search has retrieved. 

List of results with an arrow pointing to the number of results retrieved in this example search.

Refine results using filters

Your initial set of results will be automatically sorted by "relevance".  LibrarySearch relevance ranking is determined by: 

  • Frequency of keywords matched in the record
  • Hierarchy of keywords in the record
  • Proximity of keywords to one another 
  • Keywords matched in author, title, subject, or date field

You may want to change this default setting to sort in other ways. Alternative sort options include Date-newest, Date-oldest, Title, or Author. Each of these options are available through the Sort By dropdown menu highlighted in the following image. 

Alternative sort options.

Choosing a Filter

Choose any filter option from the left side menu to narrow your search results. 

Results page with location of filters highlighted.

Applying selected filters

Once you have selected one or more filters, you must click the Apply Filters button highlighted in the following image before the list will be updated with your search preferences. You may need to scroll down to the bottom of the filter section to locate the Apply Filters button. 

Results page with apply filter button highlighted.

Filter options

Results can be narrowed by selecting one or more filters from the following filter groups:

Show Only

These filters allow you to refine your results to include only results that are:

  • Open Access: Research that is published online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
  • Peer-reviewed: Articles that have successfully passed through an editorial process in which topic experts assess the quality of the research being reported.
  • Online: Library collections available via the Internet.
  • In Library: Library collections accessible only in person.

This group of filters allow you to narrow your results to items available in a specific format or group of formats. The list of format options is dynamic, always beginning with the format appearing most commonly in your set of results and descending through all relevant formats in order of frequency. While only formats present in your search results will appear in this filter group, the following list includes all currently available formats:

Book Chapters
Conference Proceedings
Text Resources
Reference Entries
Web Resources
Archival Material
Government Documents

This filter can be used to narrow your results down to items located in a specific library or in multiple library locations. For instance, selecting "New College Library (Ivey)" will narrow your results to only those books in this library location.  

  Library filter menu showing New College Library selected.

Click to the left of a location to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.


This filter lists the Subject Headings each source in your results list has been tagged with. Subjects are listed in order of prominence within your results.

LibrarySearch uses a combination of Library of Congress, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), and subject tags from article databases. Search results can be narrowed through the selection or exclusion of multiple subject headings.

 Subject filter showing the subject Transgender People selected.

Click to the left of a heading to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.

Publication Date

Input a specific date range and select "Refine". 

Language The University of Toronto Libraries purchases material in more than 300 languages. This filter lists all languages represented in your search results.

Options include principal authors, corporate authors, and government agencies.

Author creator filter showing the author Scott Alan Kugle selected.

Click to the left of a heading to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.

New to the Library

This filter is a great way to keep up to date on the newest items added to the library collection.

New to the library filter showing the filter New from last week selected

Click to the left of a heading to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.