Help Center

Searching

Type the keyword you want to find. For example:

  • design
  • bleachers grisham

Search Tips

Wildcards Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk ('*') in place of other characters. The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string. You may use '?' to replace a single character anywhere within a word.
Examples : environment* polic*, wom?n
Boolean Operators Use "and" or "or" to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use "and not" to exclude words.
Example : stocks and bonds
Example : (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
Field limits A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).
Grouping Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

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Advanced Keyword Search Tips

Multiple Words

When searching multiple words the system will automatically supply the Boolean "and" operator between each word; multiple words entered for the search will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. Both examples on the right will retrieve the same results.

Phrase Searches

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes will appear together in all results exactly as typed.

Examples

A phrase Search:
"university science department"

Wildcards

*   Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "comput*" will match all words that begin with "comput" (e.g., "computer", "computation", etc.).
The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.

?   You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.

Examples

* Wildcard:
environment* polic*
comp*

? Wildcard:
wom?n

Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list on the Advanced Search form.

Examples

Using Boolean operators:
stocks and bonds
stocks or bonds
stocks and not bonds

Field Limits

Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list. These limits appear before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).

Field Limits and their meanings:

  • Author: Search only author fields
  • Title: Search only title fields
  • Subject: Search only subject fields
  • Note: Search only note fields
  • Subject: Search only subject fields

Grouping

Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

Most relevant Most relevant titles 

Highly relevant Highly relevant titles 

Very relevant Very relevant titles 

Relevant Relevant titles 

Other relevant Other relevant titles 

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Saving your searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you place reserves on new materials quicker.

How to:

  1. Log in to your 'My Account' or 'My Library Record'
  2. Click on the "New Search" button.
  3. Search for your favorite author, subject, title, etc. or create an advanced keyword search including limits to material type, language, publication year, etc..
  4. When your results are displayed, click the button marked "Save as preferred search".
  5. The next time that you log in to your account, you can click the "Preferred Searches" button to see a list of your saved searches.
  6. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred search terms in the list to quickly execute your search.
  7. You can be alerted of new materials added to the library collection which match your searches. Just check the "Mark for Email" box and be sure that your patron record information includes your current email address.

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Renewals

Books may be renewed unless required by another reader or if it is more than two weeks overdue.

There are 3 methods to renew your books:

  1. Books may be renewed for loan at the Help Desk.
  2. Books may be renewed online - see below for more detailed instructions.
  3. Books may be renewed by telephone on (01206) 873192

How to renew your books online

Library cardholders may renew their own materials online. All material may be renewed except for materials with reserves and materials on which you owe fines.
  1. Choose Renew books from the catalogue navigation bar
  2. Login using the Patron Login.
  3. Items currently checked out will display and you can view the materials you have checked out.
  4. Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes in the Renew column and then click the Renew Selected button. If you want to renew everything, click the Renew All button. See Renewals screen.
  5. The renewal confirmation page will appear. Click Yes to confirm your renewal & you will be returned to the checkout screen.
  6. If you are successful, a new due date will appear in the Status column.
  7. Always check the Status column for information on the success or failure of your renewal. If you cannot renew items a message in red will appear on the screen & in the Status column.

Renewal will not be possible if:

  1. the book has been requested by another reader
  2. the book is more than 2 weeks overdue
  3. you have fines of over £5.00
  4. the book is an inter-library loan
  5. the book is part of our Short Loan Collection
  6. books required over the summer period must be brought in to the Library for renewal, they cannot be self-renewed.

Online Renewals Issues

YOU REMAIN RESPONSIBLE FOR BOOKS BECOMING OVERDUE. YOU MUST CONTACT US ON 01206 873187 IF ONLINE RENEWAL FAILS.

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Recalls

Readers can recall an item from another reader if it is out on loan. The reader who currently has the requested item out on loan will be asked to return it. On return the item will be kept on hold for you at the Library Help Desk on the Ground Floor. You have 7 days to collect it.

How to recall an item out on loan:

  1. To place a recall click on the Recall link  when it appears on the full catalogue record of an item.
  2. Enter your University of Essex network Login and click submit.
  3. A confirmation page will appear and your request will be sent to the library where it will be processed within 24 hours. N.B. Your request will not appear immediately on your record, it will appear after 24hrs.
screenshot of library recall screen

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