University Library


Further information


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This page contains guidance on how to search effectively to find the information you require.

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Keywords
  4. Subject
  5. Call number


Search by title when you know the exact title of an item. This includes all forms of material – books, conference proceedings, UWA theses, audio-visual materials, microforms, music scores, electronic resources, and journals. If searching in OneSearch, a title search will also retrieve journal articles.

A search by title will locate all forms of a title, including series titles, variant or additional titles which have been added to enhance access, such as the original title and the translated title of translated works.

If you know some of the words in the title but are uncertain of the exact title and correct word order, then use a keyword search.

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Search by author to find works by:

  • individual (personal) authors – editors, composers, performers, artists and the like
  • corporate authors – government bodies, organisations, conferences, educational institutions and the like.

To find works about a person or corporate body, enter the name as a subject search.

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Search by keyword if you are looking for items on a particular topic or if you know some details of a title or author but not all.

Keywords are individual words and phrases taken from different fields in the library’s catalogue records. For example, the author, title, subject or notes field.

If you know the exact title, then prefer a title search.

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Search by subject to find works about topics, persons, organisations, places, government bodies, using terms taken from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCHS). This is a list of standard words or phrases used to provide a uniform or controlled vocabulary for searching for materials by subject.

Items have been assigned a term taken from this list to describe the major and related topics of the work, and to enable you to retrieve all works in the collection on a particular topic using one uniform term, regardless of which terms have been used by the authors.

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Call number

Search by call number if you know the complete call number of a particular, physical item. It is the quickest way to retrieve the record.

The call number is a number which is assigned to all works, locating them together by topic on the shelf. The result of call number search is a list of items arranged in the order they are shelved.

Use this search if you know the classification number of the topic you are interested in, and wish to "browse" the shelves electronically. This search is a useful alternative to subject searching, because you will find other works related to your topic of interest, in the same call number area.

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