Search

Find help searching the U of A Libraries Collections.

1. Search Everything or Choose a Category

how to select a category

2. Limiting/Refining Your Search Results

Limits, or Facets, are terms from the metadata (descriptions) of the items in your search results, grouped and counted. Because limits depend on the presence and consistency of the descriptive metadata, they sometimes are not a complete representation of the results. 

After you carry out your search, you can choose to use Limits to view only the most relevant results. Limits can be very useful to help you focus your search, and when searching for specific formats such as Music or Cartographic materials.
In the Books Advanced Search, you can choose to can apply some limits before you search. 

Example: Differentiate between different authors with the same name:

An Advanced Books Search for the Author John Barton finds over 300 results by several authors with that name.
Use the Author limit to distinguish among the individuals by full name, birth/death dates, other identities, etc.

 

 

Example: Limit by Geographic Region:

An Advanced Books Search for the Subject Java finds over 2900 results, most of them about the computer programming language. Use the Geographic Region limit to focus on the island location, Java. Remember that a Geographic Descriptor must be present in the metadata (description of the item) in order for the Limit to be applied. You would want to look at the results for both the Geographic Descriptors Java and Java (Indonesia):

3. Limit Definitions for Books, Media & More

Access: At Library / Online
Is the item available online, or physically at the library (hard copies)? (Many items are both.)
Library
Search only the holdings of a specific library location. When you limit to a building, such as Cameron or Rutherford Library, you limit to hard copy items only (no online materials).  Choose University of Alberta Internet to include UA Libraries ebooks. Don't forget to include the Book and Record Depository (BARD) for older books! 
Use the Books Advanced Search 
to choose multiple locations before you enter your search terms.
Library locations are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down to find U of A locations under "U".
Call number
Applies only to hard copy items (Items that are physically on a shelf). E-resources do not typically have call numbers. Shows how the hard copy items in your results are distributed across major disciplines. 
Format
The type of content - for example: book, musical recording, cartographic material, video, etc.
"Book" includes hard copy and ebooks.
Publication Year
A histogram shows the distribution of your results by year, decade, or century, depending on the size of the range.
To narrow the date range of your results, use the slider, or enter a start and end year, and click Limit.
Author
Authors/creators of, and contributors to, works in your results. 
Subject
The topic covered by works in your results. It is actually more powerful to choose one item that matches your topic, examine the specific subject headings that are assigned to it, and click on them to find more items with the same subject heading. See Find Related Items for more info. 
Language
Allows you to select results created in or translated to a specific language.
Geographic Region
The geographic region covered by works in your results.
Historic Period
The era, century, or specific time frame covered by works in your results. Some Subject Headings include terms such as "20th century", "War of 1812", "British Occupation, 1811-1816", "Mongol Invasion, 1293", "Pleistocene", etc., etc.

4. Limit Definitions for Articles & More

Full text
Limit to items that are available full text online through UA subscriptions or Open Access (sometimes you need to search the record for the Open Access link). 
Scholarly (Peer Reviewed Journals)
Limit to articles that are published in peer reviewed journals.
References Available
Limit to articles that have a reference list or bibliography.
Available in Library Collection 
Limit to items that are either available online through UA Libraries subscriptions or Open Access, or that are available in print in a UA or NEOS Library.
Publication Year
Limit by specific year of publication.
Source Type
Focus in on specific types of publications, such as Articles in Academic Journals, Magazines, Conference Materials, Reviews, Dissertations, etc.
Subject
The topics covered by works in your results. Subjects can be a specific Subject descriptor from the item record.
Publisher
Sort results by publisher.
Publication
Sort results by the Journal in which the article was published.
Language
Limit by language of publication. As with all limiters, the language or languages must be included as metadata elements in the description of the item.
Geography
Zero in on geographic regions that are included in Subject Headings.
Content Provider
Database where the item was indexed. Identifying databases can be very useful if you are getting overwhelmed with too many results in the Search. You can choose to continue your search in a specific database that focuses on your topic.