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Search Tips

You may search for books, journals, databases, e-book titles and audiovisuals using our Library Catalogue.

To search for articles from subscribed databases, e-book databases or e-journals, please use our Databases webpage or A-Z list

Keyword search
  • Ignore punctuation and capitalization.
  • Ignore stop words such as articles, prepositions or conjunctions, e.g. the, an, a, as, at, be, but, by, do, for, if, in, it, of, on
  • Use $ to search for variations of a word, e.g. market$ retrieves market, markets, marketing, etc.
  • Use single quotes for phrase search, e.g. 'financial market'


  • Word(s) Search
  • To find titles on a certain topic, use Boolean operators (and, or, not) to combine search words, e.g. marketing and thesis


  • Author Search (includes Corporate Name)
  • If you are unsure of the exact author, editor or company/organization name, enter keywords,
    e.g. obrien retrieves titles by O'Brien, Richard M., O'Brien, James A., OBrien, Mark., etc.
    e.g. singapore bank retrieves titles by Development Bank of Singapore, Overseas Union Bank (Singapore), etc.


  • Title Search
  • If you are unsure of the exact title, enter keywords, e.g. bank invest$ retrieves "Commercial bank loan and investment behaviour", "Investing in development : lessons of World Bank experience", etc.


  • Searching for Chinese materials


    It is possible to search for Chinese materials either by Hanyu pinyin (using Roman letters) or the direct input of Chinese characters.

    Hanyu Pinyin search tips

  • Title search: Join geographical names together. E.g. enter 'Zhongguo' and not 'Zhong guo'. 'Meiguo' and not 'Mei guo'.

  • Author search: Join the given name together if there are 2 characters or more. E.g. enter 'Liang Shiqiu' instead of 'Liang Shi Qiu'.
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    Direct Chinese character input

  • Ensure character encoding is set to 'Unicode UTF-8' (View—Character Encoding at the top of IE Pull-Down menu)
  • Switch to Chinese input by pressing Alt-Shift
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    Searching in traditional and simplified Chinese

  • Searching in either traditional or simplified Chinese should produce the same results.
  • E.g. searching for the title 商務管理 or 商务管理 will both retrieve the same results set.
  • Searching for the author 鄭樹森 or 郑树森 will also retrieve the same results set.
  • However, it is recommended to search in both simplified and traditional Chinese characters to ensure that all relevant titles are retrieved
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    MORE TIPS