Palvelumme poikkeustilanteen aikana. Sivua on viimeksi päivitetty 11.9.2020.

Search results and narrowing the search

You can use the Narrow Search menu to narrow your search according to format (e.g. book material), collection (e.g. Learning Centre) or language.

Search results can be narrowed by selecting several criteria at the same time.

By default, the menu displays the most relevant search results at the top.

Retain current filters

This feature retains your filters for new search. If you wish to carry out a new search applying the criteria, enable this function.

You can rearrange search results in Sort drop-down menu by relevance, date etc.

How to find a particular book?

The search results show the location and availability of books. Click the title to check all details.

Library Map application shows the location of the book in the Learning Centre.

You can sort selected records into lists of favourites, export records to Refworks, email records or print them.

Click Login for hold and recall information.

Formatting the search phrase

Phrase searches

You can search for an exact phrase by writing your search terms within quotation marks.

For example, to search only for records which include the phrase “medieval history”, not “medieval cultural history” or similar phrases:

Phrase search can also be used for single word. Search is then exact match of a search word without any other conjugations.

Truncating search terms with asterisk *

* replaces one character in a search term.

For example, the terms “test”, “tests” and “tester” can be searched for using the query:

finds the terms "text" ja "test"

NB. The asterisk * cannot replace the first character in a search term.

Boolean operators

You can combine terms into complex queries with Boolean operators. The following operators can be used: AND, +, OR and NOT.

NB. Boolean operators must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.


AND, the conjunction operator, is the system’s default operator for multi-term queries that do not include an operator. When using the AND operator, the records included in the search results feature each of the terms in the search fields.

For example, to search for records that include “Otaniemi” and “Aalto”:



OR combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms. You can use e. g. synonyms:

finds results that contain either "college" or "university" or the both words


NOT allows you to exclude concepts not relevant to your search:

finds results that contain "Otaniemi", but not "Aalto"

Range searches

Range searches can be conducted using square brackets [ ]. Square brackets include also the terms entered in the range searched for.

For example, to search for literature about Alvar Aalto from the years 2010–2017:

NB. The word TO between the values must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Proximity searches

Proximity searches look for documents in which the search terms are within a specified distance, but not necessarily one after the other.

~ performs a proximity search at the end of a multi-term search phrase when combined with a proximity value.

For example, to search for the terms “Otaniemi” and “Aalto” when they appear within a distance of no more than ten terms from each other:

Weighted search terms

^ assigns a weight to the search term in a query.

For example, to assign added weight to the search term “Aalto”:

Articles - international articles search

You can limit your search to international articles by choosing:

The international article search includes e.g.

  • peer-reviewed scientific studies, articles
  • reference databases
  • e-books

At your disposal are basic search and advanced search.

Search is similar to Basic search except

  • Limiting the search by material types is not available
  • Result sets can very large. We recommend to refine your search with Narrow search filters on the side navigation pane. You can also rearrange the search result in different ways with Sort menu.

Most of the journal databases licensed by the Learning Centre are included in Article search. Access to full texts outside the university network may require logging in with university credentials.

This search method is a useful tool for searching when only a few articles are needed or the goal is to map how much and which journals the theme has been covered in.

It is recommended to use databases' own interfaces when you need more comprehensive results. They offer subject-specific help such as vocabularies and thesauri, methodology, defining material type, etc.

Find databases as follows:

1. When you know the database name, e.g. Scopus or Web of Science, search with it in Basic Search and narrow the format on database, if necessary.

2. If you do not know the database name, you can search for a list of subject-related databases, for example, in resource guides.

3. Browse databases in alphabetical order

Search with DOI identifier

When you want to search an article with a DOI identifier, choose first Article Search, then enter the DOI in the search field:

What is a DOI?

Digital object identifiers (DOIs) are used to identify electronic documents, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, similar to ISBN numbers of printed books. The DOI for a document remains fixed over the lifetime of the document, whereas its location and URL may change, so the same DOI will continue to resolve to the correct resources or services at their new locations.