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MID441 Research Skills Guide: Searching in Primo Search

Finding Books and eBooks when you know the title

To search for a books or eBooks in Primo Search when you have the details in front of you, just enter the title into the search box. If it's a common phrase, you might have to add an author surname.

Usually, Primo Search will put books near the top of the results list, but you can always refine to Resource Type > Books.

For example, this is how you would find this book: Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Thorogood, C., & Pincombe, J., (2014). Midwifery: Preparation for practice (3rd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier.

The search returns 9 results, with books and eBooks included, but also review articles.

  • Under the first record, you'll find some print versions you can borrow under the See all versions link. You can borrow books from any campus library except Port Macquarie if you log into Primo Search using your Charles Sturt login details. If you are an online student, the books will be sent to you at no cost, including a reply-paid return slip.
  • To access an eBook, click on the Available Online link and follow the prompts.

Finding a known Journal Article

If you know the journal article you want, you should be able to find it by its article title. Type that (or a large proportion of it) into the search box.

Let's say we are searching for:

Wright, C., & Geraghty, S. (2017). Are male partners of pregnant women treated negatively in maternity care? British Journal Of Midwifery, 25(10), 631-637.

If you search for ... "are male partners of pregnant women" ... there is just one result:

The one result for this search is the article record for the online article.

Click on the Available Online link and follow the prompts to find the article in full-text.

If you can't find the article using this method, it may be because the journal that article is published in has not given details of individual articles within its contents. it's worth looking for it by searching for the title of the actual journal. 

Search for the journal title and, if necessary, refine the results to Resource Type > Journals.

Note that, in this case, you will be taken to the database screen for the journal. What you can see and do varies, but you will usually be able to search within the journal, or browse the volumes and issues to hone into the contents of the issue you require.

If you can't track down an article you are seeking, check with Adele or contact the Library.

Topic searching in Primo Search

As well as using Primo Search to find known items, you can also use it for topic searching.

Let's say we are seeking material on expectant fathers in Australia. Our search in Primo Search could be:

"expectant fathers" australia*  (Note that the double quotation marks tell Primo Search to look for this phrase, and the asterisk tells Primo to search for all endings of the word Australia (Australian, Australia's, Australia etc).

Primo Search searches across nearly all the Library's resources so you usually get lots of results, and of all kinds.

  • Use the Refiners to show only results by certain criteria, such as resource type, publication date etc.
  • Use Advanced Search to make your search more precise.

If you are looking for journal articles, you will probably be better off using a subject-specific journal database to find more relevant results.

Primo Search Tips

Some hints on using Primo Search:

  • To search for a specific phrase, use inverted commas - "maternity ward".
  • The truncation symbol is the asterisk (*). Typing in diet* will search for 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 further by resource type, location and many other options

Advanced Search

If you find you are getting way too many results and they don't seem very relevant, click on Advanced Search. Try changing Any field  to a Title search, using multiple lines of search and  applying limiters you'll see on the right, before you press Search.

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