By default, the library website is set to basic search, where a single query box appears.
With this type of generic search, you may find items with keywords (subject, author, title, date of publication, editor, ISBN), using a single word or phrase with several words.
The default operator is AND.
Basic search examples:
To narrow search results or to initiate a more complex search, choose the advanced search functionality, or use search filters with indexes. To find a specific publication, enter the title and author in the advanced search box.
This functionality is a more complete form to specify various criteria, which appears by clicking on “Advanced Search”, under the magnifying glass icon.
Advanced search includes different types of boxes, where users specify their criteria, or “index”. This includes different types of information to describe an item (title, author, editor, year of publication, language, ISBN, etc.).
You may add search boxes with the “+ Add Row” button.
Advanced search includes other options:
To avoid incomplete search results, follow these guidelines for keywords:
|Case||The case does not affect search results. Keywords can be entered in upper case, lower case, or a combination of both. However, Boolean operators (see below) must be entered in upper case.|
Avoid French or English stop words (le, la, les, du, de, des, a, an, but, the, etc.) because the Sofia discovery tool does not take them into account . Use quotation marks " " for stop words that must be taken into account within the search.
Example: The = “the”.
|Punctuation and Diacritical Signs||Avoid punctuation or diacritical signs.
Example: é=e, à=a, ç=c, ù=u, etc.
|Apostrophe (‘)||Avoid apostrophes (‘) and the letter preceding them, or omit the apostrophe and space between the words preceding and following the apostrophe. To include all variations, link both options with a Boolean OR.
Example: for l’Étranger, enter etranger OR letranger
Use hyphens (-) or replace hyphens with a space.
Example: sans-abri, sans abri
Boolean operators (ET/AND/+, OU/OR, SAUF/NOT/-) are inserted between keywords in a search box or between search boxes to connect or exclude certain words or phrases.
For Sofia to recognize them, Boolean operators must be entered in UPPERCASE, in French or English.
Keywords and their Boolean operators are processed left to right.
Narrows search results which allows to obtain items that include both words/ phrases connected through the operator.
* If no other operator is entered in the search box, the Boolean operator AND is inserted by default between the words.
|Broadens search results which allows to obtain items that include either word/phrase connected through the operator.
Example: cellular OR smartphone
|Reduces search results by excluding items that include the word/phrase after the operator.
Example: “renewable energy” EXCEPT hydroelectricity
For more information on boolean operators, click here.
A pound sign (#) or a question mark (?) substitutes one or several variable letters in a word. Masks broaden search results. At least three characters must precede the mask.
For more information on truncation or masks, click here.
Most search indexes are displayed in the advanced search window, but you can also enter their abbreviations in the in search boxes (basic or advanced search), and combine them with different operators.
The following list includes the most commonly used indexes and their abbreviations:
*Please note that a colon (:) after an abbreviation launches a keyword search in the index, but the equal sign (=) is used to find a specific phrase in the index In the latter case, the phrase must be located at the beginning of the field in question, without any words after, which significantly narrows results. When in doubt, use a colon with quotation marks. Ex.: kw:“early childhood”. As such:
means that we’re looking for documents precisely entitled “Early Childhood”. A document entitled « Early Childhood : A Survey of Best Practices” would therefore not be included in the search results.
searches for the phrase « early childhood » wherever it may be within the title field, even in combination with other words.
pb=presses de luniversite laval
ti=le pays renversé
|Year of Publication||yr:2017
Click here for the format abbreviations.
Do not use spaces between index abbreviations and punctuation marks ( : or =), or between punctuation marks and keywords. E.g.: au=shakespeare william
Click on author (au=), subject (su:) or collection (se:) to automatically launch a new index search from an item in the results list.