For most searches start with your keywords and then limit or refine your search to narrow results (by publication type or format, date range, location, and so on).
Just type one or more terms and click the magnifying glass button. If you enter multiple words, the search box will return results that contain all of the specified terms.
You can combine searches using the following operators between words or phrases: AND, OR, NOT. Searches with multiple operators are processed in the following order, from left to right:
( ) – Parentheses allow you to group search terms and alter the order of precedence.
AND and NOT – left-to-right precedence is used in case of multiple operators.
OR – left-to-right precedence is used in case of multiple operators.
Although operators provide greater control over the search, the full search string is no longer treated as a phrase.
To search for an exact phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase. You can combine both words and phrases in your search.
For example, to search for Canadian estate planning as one term, type the following in the search box:
If you do not enclose the phrase with quotation marks, the system will find items that contain the individual words in the phrase, regardless of whether these words are located next to each other in the order specified.
If a comma is used to separate words in a list, the comma must be followed by a space. Otherwise, the system will consider the comma to be part of the word and return fewer results than expected.
You can search for items that contain at least one of the words or phrases you type in the Search box. To do so, type OR between the words or phrases.
For example, to search for items with the phrases estate planning or tax planning, type the following in the search box:
You can exclude items that contain specific words or phrases. To do so, type NOT and then type the word or phrase to exclude.
For example, to search for items with the phrase tax planning while excluding any items with the term estate, type the following in the search box:
You can include the following wildcard characters in your searches:
? – enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type behavio?r to search for records that contain the strings behaviour, behavior.
* – enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type conveyan* to search for records that contain strings, such as conveyances, conveyancing or type KF2994H85* search for partial call number.
You can use parentheses to group terms to clarify the order of multiple operators specified in a query.
Example 1: The following query searches for records that contain liability and either hospitals or doctors:
When using more than one operator, it is strongly recommended to use parentheses to clarify precedence. For example, if no parentheses are specified in the above query, the system will apply the precedence rules (left-to-right: parentheses, AND and NOT, then OR) and instead group the words liability and hospital? as follows:
Example 2: The following query searches for records that contain either e-commerce or digital and do not contain technology:
If no parentheses are specified in the above query, the system will apply the precedence rules (left-to-right: parentheses, AND and NOT, then OR) and instead group the words digital and technology as follows: