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Research Guides

ANTC71: Climate, Palaeoecology, and Policy: Archaeology of Humans in the Environment


LibrarySearch basic interface.

What is LibrarySearch?

LibrarySearch provides access to library collections in print and digital formats including books, articles, videos, maps, government documents, music, data sets, and more. You can also discover materials that are not available at U of T but that you can request for free through interlibrary loan.

When to Use LibrarySearch

Use LibrarySearch when you want to find:

  • Background information 
  • Several articles to get started
  • An exact book or article title
  • Resources in various formats (e.g. books and newspapers)
  • Sources on an interdisciplinary topic 
  • Local and/or unique resources

Need More Help with LibrarySearch?

For detailed explanations about how to use LibrarySearch, see our library guide on LibrarySearch search tips.

Sign In

To improve your search experience and gain access to advanced features, always begin by clicking the Sign In button pictured below. 

Sign In button located in top right corner of LibrarySearch interface

Once you have signed in to LibrarySearch you can: 

  • Update your profile to be sure you will receive important library notifications
  • Check due dates, place holds, review item requests, and pay fines
  • Renew your borrowed items 
  • View your search history
  • Access saved search results and citations
  • Create alerts to keep up to date on new publications

Please note: LibrarySearch times out after 30 minutes of inactivity, automatically signing you out and resetting itself to the default search page.

Basic Search

Basic Search is a simple interface that is best for searching for a single word or phrase, or for searching for the exact title of a book or article.

Basic search interface with the search box highlighted

To begin, choose a keyword. This should represent the most important concept in your research question. If you need help, check out the library's help page on choosing good keywords

The search you enter can be very simple, without using any expert techniques. If you are a more experienced researcher, Basic Search also allows you to use search operators like OR and AND that broaden or narrow your results.

As soon as you start typing in the search box, a drop-down menu will appear allowing you to choose the kind of search you prefer.

Screenshot of a basic search

Each option will narrow your results to a specific item format (e.g. articles) or to a specific collection (e.g. the catalogue). If you are searching for books or e-books, select Catalogue. This will exclude journal articles from your results.

Everything Select this option for a list of results that combines all of the following options 
Catalogue Select this option for results that include books, e-books, journals, and other materials owned or licensed by U of T
Articles Select this option for results that include articles on many scholarly and professional topics  

Advanced Search

If your topic needs more than a single word or phrase to describe, the Advanced Search interface can help you build that more complex search. 

When opening Advanced Search, you will see two lines where a search term can be entered. You also have the option of adding additional lines. Enter search terms representing each of your main concepts in their own lines. If you would like to combine multiple keywords for each concept, you can use search operators like AND and OR within the search lines. 

Advanced search interface highlighting the location where search terms are entered. Also highlighted in the bottom left corner is the add a new line feature.

Once you have entered your search terms, you can also place limits on how and where LibrarySearch searches. Each downward pointing arrow in the following image provides a different way of modifying your search.

Advanced search interface highlighting where drop-down menus can be accessed.

Using the drop down menus on the left side, you can tell the database where in the item records you would like to look for each search term. For instance, you can limit your search to locate your keyword in titles or author names as illustrated in the following image. 

Advanced search interface highlighting the title, author and other drop down menu options.

Using the drop down menus on the right side, you can tell the database to only include items in your results that adhere to a specific criteria. For instance, using the format menu you can ask to only see results that fit a specific format like books or articles.

Advanced search interface highlighting the item format drop down menu located on the right.

And by using the date menus, you can limit your results to items published during a specific period of time.  

Advanced search interface highlighting date feature on the bottom right.

Bringing together multiple options allows you to build that more complex search required by your research topic.

Screenshot of advanced search.

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. 

Each results page is divided into two sections. The menu on the left side provides various ways to narrow your search. Check off the boxes for the filters you'd like to use, then click the Apply Filters button. For example:

  • If you're looking for electronic resources you can access remotely, check off Online under the Show Only section
  • If you're looking for books/e-books, you can select Books under the Format section
  • If you're looking for resources at the University of Toronto Scarborough Library, check off U of T Scarborough Library under the Library Location section

The content on the right is a list of results comprised of source records. 

Screenshot of search results.

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

Reading an Item Record

"Record" is the word that the library uses to describe each item in your set of results. So each complete set of results is comprised of any source records retrieved through your search.

Item records are important because they provide basic information about each source including:

  1. The source format (e.g. book, article, video, etc.).
  2. The title, author, editor, date, and publication information, alternatively called the citation. 
  3. And location information including digital availability.

Each element of the brief record is highlighted with a number in the following image. 

Screenshot of an item record.

If you would like to see more information about a specific item, click on the source title. This will open a more detailed version of the record as pictured below. Check the View Online or Get It In Person sections for details about how to access the item online or find it on the shelves.

Screenshot of the complete item record.

Frequently Asked Questions about Books

The following FAQ articles explain how to get print books off the shelf once you've located them in the catalogue. They also explain how to request books from libraries on the other campuses when they're not available at UTSC, and how to request items from other universities when they're not available in UofT's collections.