Skip to Main ContentAUB

Using the Library

How to use Library Search and Search Plus

Library Search or Search Plus – What’s the difference?

Library Search is the library catalogue. It includes all physical items such as books, DVDs, journals, artists' books and archival materials, as well as links to a number of our online eBooks and eJournals.

Library Search is also where you can access your Library account. Read more about this in the Your Library Account tab above.

Search Plus is another website that can search for anything in the Library catalogue in addition to the online databases the Library is subscribed to. This way you can search for everything in one place with Search Plus. However, we suggest that if you are just looking for physical items in the Library, Library Search is a better place to start. Search Plus searches a large number of resources so can take longer and return more results, which you will need to filter down to find what you need. If you are looking for electronic resources in particular, or know which database you want to search, Search Plus is a better option.

The next two tabs explain how to search using Library Search and Search Plus. If you need further help you can:

  • Ask the staff at the counter for help (in person or via email)
  • Attend research sessions organised by your Subject Librarian 
  • Contact your Subject Librarian directly to organise a one to one

Watch this short video: Using Library Search, or read the guidance below for more information about using Library Search.

Use Library Search if you are mainly looking for physical books, journals and DVDs in the Library.

When you click in the Search box, you get a drop-down menu where you can switch between Library Search or Search Plus. If you want to see more options to refine your search, go to Advanced search.
As you start typing in your search terms, suggestions will appear and you can select any of these as your search term, or continue typing in your own terms.
Press Return or click Search to start the search.

Advanced Search
Use advanced search if you want to narrow your search in advance. You can select from the following:

  • Item type (e-Book, DVD etc.)
  • Shelving Location
  • Collection
  • Language
  • Date range

You can create a more complex search by choosing more options and specifying other fields alongside or instead of keyword, e.g Author, Title, Publisher.

Search Results
Your search term is highlighted in the listing of search results. You can click Unhighlight to switch this off.

Refining your results
If you have too many results, you can refine your search by selecting one of the refine options.
Click on the arrow to view the selection available. Or use the slider to select a date range and then click on Refine Date.

Adding items to your Folder
You can add items to your Folder or, if you are logged in, to one of your Lists.
To select several records, click the checkbox or Select all.
Choose to add the records to your Folder or List.
Then click Save

Item records
Click on a title to view the full details of the item. 
The item record shows:

  • the loan period (for example, whether a book can be borrowed for 2 weeks or is for reference)
  • where the item is shelved
  • the Status (for example, Available for items that are on the shelf and Issued for items that are out on loan)
  • for books that are on loan, Date due shows when they are due back

Use the Browse shelf link to see other items that are shelved nearby (and so will be on a similar subject).
You can scroll through the results using the Previous and Next buttons, or use Back to results to return to the Search results page.

Click on Browse results to see a summary of the items in your search results.

The left-hand menu has options to:

  • place a reservation on an item (you must be logged in)
  • print the record
  • add the record to your folder
  • highlight or unhighlight the search terms
  • save the record in RIS format to use in referencing software such as Zotero
  • search for the record in other catalogues, including Bournemouth University Library

You can also Share the record via social media.

Watch this short video: Using Search Plus, or read the guidance below for more information about using Search Plus.
Use Search Plus if you are mainly looking for electronic resources, or if you want to search particular databases.
To search using Search Plus go to Library Search and select the Search Plus option below the search box.
If you are looking for full text results only, select the button next to Search Full Text Only.
If you know which specific database(s) who want to search click Search Plus Advanced Search.
Using the Advanced Search you can;
  • Select which database or databases you want to search.
  • Create a more complex search by choosing more options and specifying other fields alongside or instead of keyword, e.g Author, Title and Date Range.  
  • Choose to return only results that match every field you're searching for (All), or for results that match at least one (Any). 
  • Limit to Full Text results only.
  • To return to a simple search from Advanced select Quick Search
As you start typing in your search terms, suggestions will appear and you can select any of these as your search term, or continue typing in your own terms. Press Return or click Search to start the search.
A separate tab will open with your search results. As Search Plus searches a number of databases it can sometimes take a while for the results to appear. When the Additional Results box pops up click Add Results
Refining Search Results
If you didn’t select Search Full Text Only before searching you can limit to full text results after searching by going to Clusters - Refine by: on the left hand side and selecting All Full Text under Document Format
Use the slider to select a date range under Date Range Picker - Refine by date.
Refine results by Topic, Author, Publication, Document type, Source and Document format under Refine by:
If you prefer to view a more visual representation of your results by subject you can select the Visual tab. Double-click on particular subject segments to refine search results.
Additional Features
  • Search - Choose between Quick Search or Advanced Search
  • About - Links to the AUB library website and Search Plus Help pages
  • Sign In - Here you can create a Search Plus account. This is not the same as your Library or AUB account. With a Search Plus account you can save results to My Library, create and view Alerts, or create and modify Search Builder engines.
  • Screen Options - This option is currently not working on Search Plus
  • My Library - Once you have created a Search Plus account and logged in you can save searches to My Library by ticking checkboxes next to particular results
  • Clear Selections - Clears your selected results
  • Print and Email Results - Send result lists to the printer or email them to yourself
  • User Preferences - Here you can change the default settings of the number of results per page and or whether or not to show the Results Available pop-up box. These settings will be saved if you are logged in. 
  • Alerts - Lists your Alerts and lets you create new ones
For more information about using these additional features go to Search Plus help pages

Phrase searching
Library Search and Search Plus allow phrase searching. To search for a phrase in Library Search go to Advanced Search, select 'Keyword phrase' from the dropdown and insert your phrase. To search for a phrase in Search Plus insert your search terms in double quotation marks (" ") and it will prioritise finding your terms together, in the order you have given. 


This is the best way to narrow your search (the example above shows the number of results reduced by over 85% using this technique). This may also mean that you are missing out on results that are relevant to your research, but don't use the exact phrase you have used.
Boolean operators
Library Search and Search Plus allow you to use the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT. These must be written in capitals to be recognised.
By default, all terms in a search are combined with the AND operator. To expand your search results use the OR operator e.g. “textile OR cloth” will find results that contain either term.



This can be combined with phrase searching e.g. “special effects” OR “body painting”.
To exclude results from your search use the NOT operator before a search term e.g. searching for '"Body modification" NOT Piercing' should find results on a variety of body modifications e.g. tattooing, but will exclude results that mention piercing.



Library Search and Search Plus allow you to use wildcards when you are searching. Wildcards represent one or more letters in a word to take into account variations in spelling and words with a common root.
The question mark (?) can be used to represent a single character within a word e.g. searching for the author 'Ols?n' will find results results by the authors as 'Olsen' and 'Olson'.
The asterisk (*) can be used to represent zero or more characters, within a word or at the end of it e.g. searching for 'Colo*r' would find results containing 'Color' and 'Colour'; and searching for 'Design*' will find results containing 'Design', 'Designs', 'Designer', 'Designing' etc.
But wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search term.

Watch this short video: Logging in to your Library Account, or read the guidance below for help logging in to your Library Account.

To access your library account click Log in to your Library Account on the top right hand corner of the screen.
When the next window pops up select the AUB student and staff login and enter your AUB login details.
If you don’t have an AUB student or staff login enter your Library card number as Login and your Library PIN.

Your Summary
Your summary shows what you have on loan, when the items are due back and how many renewals are remaining. There are also tabs showing your outstanding fines and any holds you have made.

Your Charges
Your charges shows your outstanding fines. Accruing fines are still increasing each day as they relate to items you still have not yet returned to the Library.

Change your PIN
If you know your PIN you can change it here. If you have forgotten your PIN the Library staff can issue you with a generic PIN at the library counter.

Your Search History
Your search history lists your previous searches. Click the search terms to rerun a search. Click the RSS icon to set up an RSS feed to alert you when relevant new items are added to the catalogue.

Your Borrowing history
Your Borrowing history lists items you have borrowed over the past 3 years.

Your Lists
Your lists shows your saved lists. Select Share to email the list to yourself or a friend.

Your Inter-Library Loan Requests
Your inter-library loans requests lists items you have requested from the British Library or other external libraries. You can also request new items.