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Using Library Search

What is Library Search?

library search search bar

Library Search is the search and discovery tool of the major collections available through the University of Sussex Library. You can use Library Search to discover books, ebooks, journals, digital media, news articles and other types of media. Library Search searches our books and journals, content available through the Library’s databases, and a huge index of article-level content (from ejournals, conferences, newspapers and more).

Take a look at the FAQs below, or view our Library Search video guides to learn more. 

How do I sign in to Library Search?

Library Search screenshot of the sign in buttonTo sign in, click on the ‘Sign in’ button located on the top right hand corner of the Library Search homepage.

Signing in will allow you to save individual items and searches, place requests on unavailable items, place an inter-library loan request, and gain access to full-text materials.


How do I refine my search results? TEST

You can refine your search results using the filter options available on the left hand side of the page. You can select multiple filters simultaneously. This will help to narrow your search and remove irrelevant resources.

There are a number of filters available, including:

  • - Item Type 

  • - Author 

  • - Creation Date

  • - Availability

  • - Subject

  • - Journal Title

  • - Language

  • - Collection

  • - Sort By

When you make changes to your search words or run a new search, the filters you’ve selected will be removed automatically. To “lock” your filters in place for the duration of your Library Search session, hover over the applied filter and click on the padlock icon. 

You can also exclude results that meet certain filter criteria; to do this, hover your mouse over the filter text and select the red, crossed-out tick icon when it appears.
Once it's selected, Library Search will remove any results that fall into your selected filter

How do I access online resources?

If the library has online access to a resource you will find a link under 'View Online' heading. You will need to be signed in, or to enter your University of Sussex credentials to access the resource.

How do I access physical resources?

If the library holds a physical copy of a resource it will be listed under the 'Get It' heading. Here you will find the resource's availability and its class mark (e.g. HZ 13500 HIS), which will help you find the resource on the shelf. 

By selecting 'Locate' you can bring up a map of where you will find the resource in the library.

How do I request an item?

If the physical item you are looking for is already on loan, you are able to request that the item is returned.

To request an item that is on loan, click on the ‘request’ button found within the ‘request options’ tab.

Make sure you confirm by clicking 'Send Request'.

You will receive an email when your requested item is ready to pick up from the library.

How do I renew my loans?

You will receive an email confirmation with the details of your loan once you have taken the resource out.

Your library loans renew automatically, unless another user has placed a request on an item, in which case you will receive an email alert to recall the item. 

If you cannot return your item due to extenuating circumstances, please contact us via chat or email for advice.

You can view the items you have on loan by signing in to Library Search using the 'My Library Card' option in the upper right hand screen. 

How do I save items for future use?

If you would like to save an item for future use, click on the pin icon to save it to your library account (you will need to be signed in to do this).

To access your saved items, click on the pin at the top right of the page.

What if I can't find what I'm looking for?

Although Library Search does search across most of our resources, it doesn't search every specialist database we have access to. If you cannot find what you are looking for, refer to the Online Resources A-Z link on the library homepage.

Using Boolean connectors can improve the relevancy of your results, as the search engine or database will search your keywords in a more specific and filtered way. Refer to our Boolean Searching page for more guidance with this.

If you find the item you need on a database that the Sussex Library does not have access to, you can place an InterLibrary request.

Special Collections

The University’s Special Collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books can be searched via The Keep’s website.

How do I place an interlibrary loan request?

If you find an item on a database that the library does not currently have access to, you can place an interlibrary loan request, by clicking on 'Place an Interlibrary request'.

You will need to be signed-in to your library account to place a loan request, and then provide the full bibliographic details for the item you are requesting in the request form.

You can also place an interlibrary loan via the 'Find and request books' button on the Library homepage.

For article requests supplied by the British Library, we will deliver the article direct to your email account.

How do I cite an item?

To quickly create a citation for an item, scroll down to the 'Send to' heading and select the citation icon.

You should then select the referencing style you will be using in your work on the left-hand side (check with your tutors if you are unsure). 

Library Search will generate a citation for this item in the selected style, which you can copy to your clipboard using the button underneath the citation.

Remember: always check your citation for accuracy before including it in your own work, as citation generators are not always correct.

For more guidance around referencing, check out the Skills Hub page on Referencing and academic integrity.

How can I send references to referencing tools like Zotero?

screenshot of Library Search's citation icon

To save the citation of the selected item, click on the quote icon which is found next to the item record. Then select the appropriate software icon to download the file. This file is then imported and saved into the selected citation management software.

Zotero example: After clicking on the quote icon, select the icon labelled ‘RIS:ZOTERO/ENDNO’. Once downloaded, the file will be saved and ready to be used.