Top tips

Assess your search strategy- can you be more specific?

Use filters in databases and search tools to narrow your results

Too many results

When using Library Search, you may find a search based on general keywords or subjects returns many pages of results. Where possible, search using specific journal or book titles, or author names. Use specific keywords, and check out our search tips.

If you can’t be more specific with your search terms you will need to filter your results. Most databases have tools you can use to refine your search. These allow you to specify a specific format (book, e-book, journal, article, etc.), date range, library location (we have 7 libraries), language, topic, journal title or author.

Too few results

Check your spelling. Sometimes a spelling error or typo is behind a lack of results.

Try searching other databases. Imperial has access to a number of subject-specific databases, so look for the one most relevant to your field. Use broader search terms to open up more results.