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How to use LibrarySearch: Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Advanced Search provides multiple search fields, which enables you to narrow/ broaden your searches. You can use Advanced Search when you need to:

  • find information on a specific topic
  • combine multiple keywords/ concepts in a search statement

Advanced Search interface:

  CUHK: Seach within CUHK collection 

        HKALL: Search for loanable materials from participating libraries  

  Search Scope: 

Search option Scope
All All of the below options
Books Search for print and electronic books
Articles+ Books, journals, newspaper articles, conference proceedings and more
Audio Visual Multi-media materials
Periodicals Materials published periodically, such as newspapers, magazines, journals, yearbooks
Exam Papers CUHK Undergraduate Examination past papers from 1995. (does NOT provide answers)
Reference Materials Search for reference materials
CUHK Theses CUHK master theses and PhD dissertations
Special Collections Items in the CUHK Special Collections and the Repositories
USC Collection Universities Service Centre For China Studies Collection
Local TV Programmes Recorded Hong Kong television programmes
HK Government Documents HKSAR Government documents

  "Any Field" drop-down menu

Search option Search term (case-insensitive)
Title Exact title or the first few words of the title. (A, An, The etc. can be omitted)
Author / Creator Author name, Organizational name, Conference name
Subject (LCSH) Library of Congress Subject Heading
Subject (MeSH) Medical Subject Headings for topics like psychology and life sciences
Subject (Others) Subject Headings created by CUHK Library
ISBN / ISSN ISBN, ISSN or the few characters of the standard numbers, e.g. 0673523365
Call No. A combination of characters assigned to a physical material to indicate its place on a shelf, e.g. HV6543 .D76
Contents Any keywords that appear in the record detail
Publisher Publisher name
Donor Collection CUHK Donor Collection

  Search types:

  • contains - Returns results that contain all words in the phrase, but the words may be in a different order and may not be as close together.
  • contains (exact phrase) - Returns results that contain phrases that exactly match the phrases specified in the query.
  • starts with – For call number searches only, it returns results that contain words that start with the specified string.
  • equals (exact phrase) - Returns results that are precisely equal to the phrases specified in the query. No other words are contained.

  The material type option, language option, and publication date option are self-explanatory.

  The Boolean Operators AND, OR, NOT :

  • AND: both terms must be present e.g. comic AND culture
  • OR: either term must be present e.g. teenager OR adolescent
  • NOT: latter terms are excluded e.g. advertisement NOT television

Search Operators

Search operators are a set of commands that can help you to broaden or narrow your search results. You can create a complex search by using multiple search fields connected by a search operator. It is useful when you need to find information on a specific topic with multiple key concepts.


Return results that contain both search terms

You may use AND to:

  • Combine different concepts
  • Narrow your search

For example, search United States AND University for results that contain both United States and Universities


Return results that contain either or both search terms

You may use OR to:

  • Connect synonyms and related words
  • Broaden your search

For example, search Universities OR Colleges for results that contain either or both Universities and Colleges


Return results that exclude a search term

You may use NOT to:

  • Exclude a term from search results
  • Narrow your search

For example, search Computers NOT Calculators for results that contain Computers without the term Calculators.


Find words that start with the same letters

You may use * to:

  • Search for words with different endings
  • Broaden your search

For example, search Comput* for results that contain words with the root of "Comput". E.g. computers, computing, etc.


Represent any single character in search terms

You may use ? to:

  • Search for words with different spelling
  • Broaden your search

For example, search Wom?n for results that contain Woman, Women

“ ”

Return results that contain exact-match of the phrase in quotation marks

You may use “    ” to:

  • Search for an exact phrase
  • Narrow your search

For example, search “Higher Education” for results that contain the exact phase Higher Education, but not Higher AND Education

(  )

Group multiple terms or search operators to alter the operator precedence

You may use (    ) to:

  • Create a complex search to find information on a very specific topic with multiple keywords

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