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Distance Learners: Library SmartSearch

Library SmartSearch

 Library SmartSearch is a tool that allows you to search across collections including printed books, e-books, journal articles, newspapers and dissertations. 

Finding Books Using Library SmartSearch

The smartest way to start your search


To search for:

  • a specific book, type in the author surname and some words from the title
  • books on a topic, type your keywords and then select Books from the Limit by material type menu on the left-hand side of your results page

(Reading lists for individual modules can be accessed via Blackboard)

Searching hints and tips

  • Library SmartSearch searches all the words you have entered, without the need to use AND.  For example: writing literature review will find items that contain all 3 terms
  • Library SmartSearch searches through the full text of documents (if available).  This may cause a large number of results, and not all are relevant to your subject.  Results are returned in a relevancy ranked order.
  • To improve the relevancy of your search results, enclose phrases in "quotation marks".  For example:  "research methods" or "global warming". 
  • Include the apostrophe.  For example, use "handmaid's tale" rather than "handmaids tale"
  • To find variant endings for a word, use the * asterisk (truncation symbol.)  For example:  delinquen* finds delinquent, delinquents, delinquency
  • To find scholarly journal articles, refine your search by selecting "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals"
  • You can refine a search by limiting to Language. However, be aware that many English language articles have not been tagged as English, so will be missing from your search results.
  • Many items have direct links to retrieve the full text. For those that don't, use "Find it @ Aston" to determine if the Library has the item in print or online.