Search information

Different kind of information can be found in different kind of sources.

Search for articles and other information in databases
Selecting search terms
How to find a certain article
How to find books

Search for articles and other information in databases

Different databases can be found in the list of databases. The databases are listed in alphabetical order, by subject or by type of database. 

There are interdisciplinary databases which cover more than one subject area. WorldCat Discovery, Web of Science and Scopus are examples of interdisciplinary databases. If you don’t know where to begin, try one of these. It’s also good to search several different databases, to find as much relevant information as possible. 

Under the headline “Specific databases” in the database list, you can find databases with certain kind of content, for example dissertations, encyclopaedias or citation databases. 

If there is no full text in the database, look for “check WorldCat Discovery for Full Text” to be taken to full text, if the University Library subscribes to the material. Do not apply limits like "Linked Full Text" when searching databases. This reduces the number of documents found to less than the actual number of documents available through e.g. library subscriptions and free sources.

Books and e-books are preferably to be searched in library catalogues. Try the University Library catalogue but also the national catalogue LIBRIS.

Selecting search terms

Identify the key elements of the research question. Figure out which terms and concepts are used within the subject area. Think of synonyms or alternative search terms and potential alternative spellings (e.g. colour – color). If you get too many hits, try to add more search terms or more specific search terms. If you get too few hits, use synonyms and alternative search terms. 

Some databases, like PubMed and CINAHL, have their own controlled vocabulary, called a thesaurus. Articles with similar content are given the same subject terms. The thesaurus in PubMed is called MeSH, Medical Subject Headings, and the thesaurus in CINAHL is called CINAHL Headings. Read more about how to search with controlled vocabularies in the help pages of the databases. 

Note subject terms/keywords from books and articles you have found which can be included in your following searches. 

Boolean operators 

Boolean operators are AND, OR and NOT, they can be used to combine search terms. 

AND is used to combine two or more search terms. AND is the default operator in many databases, but sometimes you need to use the operator AND between the words. A search with AND generates a list of database records where both words occur in every record included in the list. Example: (child* AND diabetes).

If words are combined with OR, records will be retrieved where one of the words or both occur. This operator is useful when you want to include synonyms in a search. Example: (student OR pupil).

If you want to exclude records which contain a specific word, you can add NOT (or in some databases AND NOT) before that word. Example: (cats NOT dogs).

It is possible to combine different operators in many databases. If you for example want to search for articles where learning occurs as well as students or pupils or both, you can use parentheses to combine the AND and OR operators. Example: learning AND (students OR pupils).

Read more about how the boolean operators work in the help texts in specific databases. 


Truncation is a way to include different suffixes for a word and thus retrieve more potentially relevant database records. If you e.g. are searching for articles where the word learn is supposed to occur, you may want to find articles where learning, learner, learners etc. are present as well. By adding an asterisk to the word stem, learn*, you will find all records where words beginning with learn occur.

Truncation is possible to utilize in the library catalogue, LIBRIS and the library’s databases. In some databases a character other than the asterisk should be used to truncate words. Read database help texts to find out which options are available in specific databases.

To find a certain article

Search by article title in WorldCat Discovery. If the library subscribes to the journal, you can read the full text.

It is also possible to search for the journal in the library journal list. Search for the journal name (not the article title) or ISSN. On the journal homepage you need to find the right year, volume and number. For access outside campus, use the link for remote access.

Some journals are available in print form in the library. Articles from print journals are possible to copy, journals can not be borrowed.

If the library doesn't have access to the journal you are looking for, you can, for a fee, order a copy of the article. Learn how to make an article order.

To find books

Use the University Library catalogue to find books. Search for title and/or author. You can also search for a subject. Each book in the catalogue is provided with a location mark, letters or numbers, which tells you where in the library you can find the book. The location mark is after "shelf" in the catalogue record. The same location mark is on one of the shelves in the library.

On the shelf, the books are arranged alphabetically by author's family name. If there is no author or authors are more than three, the book is placed after the title. Note that editors should not be regarded as authors.

If the book is course literature, it’s marked with “Kurslitteraturhyllan” in the catalogue. Course literature can’t be borrowed, these books are only available for reading in the library. More information about course literature.

To read e-books, use the same login credentials which you use for example to your student e-mail.

If you don’t find what you are looking for in the University Library catalogue, you can try to search in LIBRIS, the national library catalogue of Sweden.

If the library doesn't have the book you are looking for, please ask at the information desk to request an interlibrary loan.

Inside the Library

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Detailed information, irregular opening hours 


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