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UVic Library Search Help

Tips for using the Library Search interface at the University of Victoria Libraries.

Refining your search results

Your initial set of results will be automatically sorted by "relevance".  LibrarySearch relevance ranking is determined by: 

  • Frequency of keywords matched in the record
  • Hierarchy of keywords in the record
  • Proximity of keywords to one another 
  • Keywords matched in author, title, subject, or date field

You may want to change this default setting to sort in other ways. Alternative sort options include Date-newest, Date-oldest, Title, or Author. Each of these options are available through the Sort By dropdown menu accessible by clicking as indicated in the following image. 

Screenshot of a search results page using the keywords "how the other half lives 1890". From the filters menu on the left, we can select several options from the "Sort by" menu.

Choosing and applying search filters

Choose any filter option from the left side menu to narrow your search results. In the image below, we have selected filters to narrow our search to journal articles available online only.

Screenshot of a search for the keywords "how the other half lives 1890". From the 'Refine your search' menu on the left, the searcher has selected the options "Full text online" and "Journal Articles" to restrict their search to journal articles available online.

Once you have selected one or more filters, you must click the Apply Filters button highlighted in the above image before the list will be updated with your search preferences. You may need to scroll down to the bottom of the filter section to locate the Apply Filters button. 

Excluding results with filters

Search filtering can easily remove undesired categories of results from your search. Simply move your cursor to the right of any filter category, and click the orange tick box which will appear. The search below

Screenshot of the 'Content type' menu, with 'Journal articles' selected using the left-hand tick box, and 'Reviews' selected for exclusion using the right hand exclusion tick box.

Note that newspaper results are filtered out of LibrarySearch by default. If you wish to locate newspaper articles specifically, you can do so by clicking 'Newspapers search' at the bottom of the 'Content Type' filter list.

Filter options

Results can be narrowed by selecting one or more filters from the following filter groups:


These filters allow you to refine your results to include only results that are:

  • Open Access: Research that is published online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
  • Peer-reviewed: Articles that have successfully passed through an editorial process in which topic experts assess the quality of the research being reported.
  • Full Text Online: Library collections available via the Internet.
  • Library Catalogue: Library collections held directly by the University of Victoria, rather than through a database subscription service.
Content Type

This group of filters allow you to narrow your results to items available in a specific format or group of formats. The list of format options is dynamic, always beginning with the format appearing most commonly in your set of results and descending through all relevant formats in order of frequency. While only formats present in your search results will appear in this filter group, the following list includes all currently available formats:

Book Chapters
Conference Proceedings
Text Resources
Reference Entries
Web Resources
Archival Material
Government Documents

Publication Date

Input a date range with this filter and click 'Refine.' By selecting, for instance, 2018 to the current year, this tool can be used to refine our search for current literature. Or, if we were interested in historical sources, we could input a range such as 1900-1950.

Subject Terms

This filter lists the Subject Headings each source in your results list has been tagged with. Subjects are listed in order of prominence within your results.

LibrarySearch uses a combination of Library of Congress, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), and subject tags from article databases. Search results can be narrowed through the selection or exclusion of multiple subject headings.

 Subject filter showing the subject Transgender People selected.

Click to the left of a heading to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.


This filter lists all languages represented in your search results.


This filter can be used to narrow your results down to items located in a specific library or in multiple library locations. For instance, selecting ''Mearns-McPherson Library' will narrow your results to only those books in this library location.  

Library filter with two options available displayed  

Click to the left of a location to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.


This category lists items by their location within UVic's collections. Most commonly used collections will be

Location filter with multiple options, including "Main Collection," "Internet Resource," and additional options displayed.

Click to the left of a heading to select it. Click to the right to exclude it.

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