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Information Essentials: Basic search

Basic search: Keyword searching and filters

Searching by Keyword is the best way to start your search, and works like any Web search engine. Go to the Library Homepage and try any search.

ECU Library search box

A Keyword search looks for words anywhere in the record (Title, Author, Description, etc.) Keyword searches are a good substitute for a Subject search when you do not know the standard Subject heading (see the section on Subject Headings for more). A Keyword may also be used as a substitute for a Title or Author search when you have incomplete title or author information.


Once you've clicked "Search," you'll get a lot of results, and it's time to narrow down your results with different Filters. ECU Library Search allows you to filter your results in a number of ways, including:

  • Library

By default, ECU Library Search searches Libraries worldwide, narrow your results to ECU materials only

  • Content

Best for limiting to "Peer Reviewed" material for essays

  • Format

For Books, Journal Articles, Music, and Musical Scores

  • Year

When looking for material created, and released within a set period

As you select the check boxes next to a filter, you can see the number of results you will narrow down to the right of the option.

Keyword and Title Search

A Keyword search is great for a general search for a Title, or an Author, but what about searching for a specific piece? Thankfully, finding a piece like an Article or a Chapter in a collection is also possible by using a Keyword.

This is because books often have their full Contents listed in their catalogue entry, and a Keyword search will search the names of Articles and Chapters.

In the ECU Library search bar, type in the "Title of the chapter" and any additional details like the Author, if known.

  • Key in the chapter title and Submit
  • Hint: Put the exact title of the piece in "quote marks"
  • A list of results will display

For example, searching: "What Is an Author?" AND Foucault

ECU Library search box

Then Filtering to Edith Cowan University, and Book gets you a number of results which include this essay.

Finally, after selecting the Title, on the right you will see the access option and where the item is available, and scroll down to get a full list of the contents of the item. 

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