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HIP100 Research Skills Guide: Introduction to Primo Search

Primo Search

Primo Search is Charles Sturt Library's main search tool. It searches across most of what the Library provides, including:

  • books, journals, DVDs and other physical items found in the library
  • most of the material in the Library's databases, including online journals, articles, videos, and news and multimedia
  • most of the Library's eBooks
  • CSU research papers and theses in CRO (CSU Research Output).

Primo Search Tips

Some hints on using Primo Search:

  • If you type in more than one word, it will combine them with the AND operator - eg. cardiac [AND] disease.  To search for a specific phrase (and get more relevant results), use inverted commas - eg. "cardiac disease".
  • Use the asterisk (*) to search for multiple words with the same starting letters - eg. diet* = diet, diets, dieting, dietician etc.
  • When you find a journal article result, click on the Available online link and follow the prompts to get to the full article.
  • Use the refiners on the left of the results screen to narrow your results. There are refiners for things like Resource Type, Dates, and Topics. If you can't see a refiner that you might want, within a list, click on the Show More link at the bottom of the list
  • If you get too many results in a search, try going to Advanced Search and changing your search so that you are searching in the Title or in the Subject (rather than in Any Field).
  • Advanced Search has multiple search lines, for more complex searches, and extra limiters:

What is Primo Search? - Video

Pros and Cons

Some advantages of using Primo Search:

  • You are searching across many resources at once, in the one search
  • You can use the refiners at the left of the results screen to narrow your results in many different ways
  • All your results should be available in full-text.

Some disadvantages:

  • The search functions are limited compared to other search tools
  • Because of the way the searching works, you might get too many results, or results that don't seem relevant.

If you find that you are not getting good results from Primo Search, try searching in a database or package of databases. See Databases.