Research Guides

uSearch Help


Discover materials from all University of Miami Libraries, including Law and Medical.
Performing Basic Searches
You can find resources very easily in uSearch. Just type one or more words you are looking for into the main “Everything” tab and click the Search button.
The Everything tab will give you articles, books, films, e-resources, and all types of materials.

The Library Catalog tab only searches for materials found in UM Libraries with the exception of the UM Digital Collections. That has its own tab. You won’t find articles, but you will be able to find journals.

The Course Reserves tab will help you find articles and materials your professor put on your class reading and viewing list.

The Digital Collections tab will search for digitized materials from the Special Collections, Cuban Heritage Collection, and UM Archives, as well as UM faculty and student authored content deposited in the UM Scholarly Repository and MiamiLaw Repository.

See below for more detailed information on what you can find.

Once you are familiar with the basics of uSearch, you might want to try doing more with the Search panel or use the Advanced Search option. Both of these options offer numerous features for making your searches more precise and enable you to get results that are more useful.
The Everything tab will search all UM Libraries for all of the following items:
  • Books and e-books
  • Journal titles and articles
  • CDs, DVDs, VHS, LPs, and Cassettes
  • Dissertations (including materials in both the Scholarly Repository and the Law School's Scholarly Repository)
  • Archival materials from the Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, and University Archives, including rare books and other physical items
  • Maps
  • Government documents
  • Materials from the Digital Collections
  • Other physical materials such as posters, kits, and CD-ROMs.
Library Catalog
The Library Catalog tab searches most of the same items as above, except for articles, e-journals, and Digital Collections. Use this to quickly find physical library materials at any UM Library.
Course Reserves
The Course Reserves tab will search for textbooks and other materials placed aside by professors. These materials are generally available for check-out for a limited amount of time.
UM Digital Collections
The UM Digital Collections tab will search for unique online resources available from the Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, University Archives, and the Scholarly Repository.
How Can I Do More with the Search Panel?
You can do more than just a simple search with the Search panel. Try the following search options to get the best results for your search:
Searching for a Phrase
To search for a phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase. You can combine both words and phrases in your search. Or you can use the middle drop down menu and select “with my exact phrase.”
Searching for a Phrase
If you do not use the exact phrase options, 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.
Searching for Any Specified Words or Phrases
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 (in all capitals) between the words or phrases.
For example, to search for items with the word Irish or the word Celtic, type the following in the search box:

Searching for Any Specified Words or Phrases
If you search for words or phrases without specifying OR or NOT, uSearch assumes that you are searching for all the specified words or phrases.
Excluding Words or Phrases
You can exclude items that contain specific words or phrases. To do so, type NOT (in all capitals) and then type the word or phrase to exclude.
For example, to search for items with the word Celtic and exclude any of these items with the word Irish, type the following in the search box:

Excluding Words or Phrases
If you search for words or phrases without specifying OR or NOT, Primo assumes that you are searching for all the specified words or phrases.
Searching Using Wildcard Characters
You can include the following wildcard characters in your searches:
? - enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the strings woman, women, and so forth.
* - enter and asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally.
The system ignores wildcard characters placed at the beginning of search terms. For example, the system treats the search terms ?aying and *aying as if you had searched foraying.
Grouping Terms Within a Query
You can use parentheses to group terms within a query. For example, to search for Shakespeare and either tragedy or sonnet, type the following in the search box:

Grouping Terms Within a Query
Expand Search Beyond UM
When doing a search in the Everything tab, you can click on the “expand beyond UM” limiter on the left after running a search.  This link will expand your search results to materials that may be in another library.  You can then order the materials through Interlibrary Loan.
Expand Search Beyond UM
Using the Brief Results
The Brief results display all the items that match your search query. For each item, the following information displays:
  • Resource Type - the format of the item, such as book, article, journal, and so forth.
  • Title - the title displays either the item’s information or the online resource.
  • Author, creator, and dat - the item’s author, creator, and publication date.
  • Star icon - click the Star icon next to the title to add or remove the item from your basket. A highlighted star indicates that you have already added it to your basket.
Find Online Tab
The Find Online tab displays items that are available online inside the tab. If the item has multiple entries, click an entry to display the item on a new page.

Find online
More Information Tab
The More Information tab displays the item’s full record and additional links.

More information
More tab
The More tab displays links to bibliographic management tools and to the “report an issue” link.

Using Browse
The Browse search allows you to browse library material (local material only) in order to find information of relevance quickly. You can browse material by subject, author, title, call number, LC Call number and SUDOC number. In the results, you can click an underlined entry to see its associated records. 

Browse Library Materials

To access Browse, click the Browse Search link next to the simple search box, as shown below.

Browse Search link

My Account
Sign InMy Account enables you to view the contents of your library card and perform library services, such as renewing a book or canceling a request. In addition, it lets you define your personal uSearch settings. To access My Account, click the My Account link, which appears at the top of each page in uSearch.
Signing In

Why Should I Sign In?
When you sign into uSearch, you are able to do the following:
  • Set preferences for your current and future sessions. You can set your preferences so that they reflect the way you usually search, and save them for future sessions.
  • Add items you found and queries you submitted permanently to your basket. You can save items from your results list to your basket and you can save queries that you have performed for future use.
  • Set alerts for your queries. You can set a query to become an alert, that is, to run automatically and send you email notification once it locates new items answering your search criteria.
  • Access external licensed resources. The institution offers licensed information resources to its users. Once you sign in, you can search and retrieve items from these additional resources. Due to publisher licensing restrictions, some content is only viewable in search results when you are logged in.
  • Use library services. You can benefit from library services such as requesting or recalling items.
Why Should I Sign Out?
You should sign out of uSearch so that your searches remain private and your personal settings and basket are not tampered with by anyone else.
Personal Settings
You can tailor the uSearch user interface so that it reflects the way you usually search. For example, from your uSearch account you can specifythe maximum numbers of search results per page. From the "Personalize your results" option you can set preferred disciplines to boost relevancy of results and/or rank materials with newer publications dates higher in your results. To set your preferences, click the Personal Settings option on the left side of My Account. To keep your settings for future sessions, you must sign in and save your preferences.
Using e-Shelf

e-Shelf allows you to save and organize items that you find during your search session.

To access e-Shelf, click the e-Shelf link at the top of the page.
Saving Items to e-Shelf
When you select the Star icon for an item in the search results, the system highlights the icon and adds the item to the Basket folder in e-Shelf.

Removing Items from e-Shelf
To remove an item and all of its copies in the various folders in e-Shelf, select the highlighted Star icon next to the item in the search results.

removing items from e-Shelf
Viewing Items Saved in e-Shelf
To view items that are saved in e-Shelf, click the Basket folder or any of its subfolders. From the list of items, click the item that you want to display.
Managing Folders
From the e-Shelf tab, you can perform the following operations on folders if you have signed in to your account :

Managing folders

Managing Items
From the e-Shelf tab, you can perform the following operations on items:

Using Queries, Alerts, and RSS Feeds
What Is a Query?
A query is a word or phrase you specify in the search panel to request information. You can do the following with queries:
  • View the current session's queries and results.
  • Save a query from the current session in order to use it later.
  • Activate alerts on your saved queries to have them run automatically at scheduled times to provide you with updated results from queries.
  • Activate RSS feeds to receive updates for your favorite queries. For more information, see Activating RSS Feeds.
Viewing and Saving Queries
If you are signed in, you can save a query by clicking the “save query” which appears on the left-hand facets on the search results page.

Viewing and saving queries

You can access your saved and session queries by clicking either the e-Shelf orMy Account link and then clicking the My Queries tab.

query tab

This tab contains the following folders:
  • This Session's Queries—this folder lists all of the queries that you have performed in the current session.
  • Saved Queries & Alerts—this folder lists all of the queries and alerts that you have saved.
NOTE: If you are not signed in, your queries are available only during the current session.
You can run a saved query yourself, or you can set it as an alert that runs automatically at scheduled times and sends you new results by e-mail.
What is an alert?
An alert is a process that runs your query automatically at scheduled times and sends you new results via e-mail.
Viewing and Activating Alerts
To view the list of alerts, click the Saved Queries & Alerts menu. To configure an alert for a saved query, click the Update link for that query and then specify the alert settings.
Activating RSS Feeds
Syndicated content, otherwise known as Really Simple Syndication (RSS), is a popular way to distribute information from Web sites. For example, using RSS, a news site or a blog can automatically feed its news articles or entries to a group of subscribers.

RSS feeds in uSearch are used to notify you of new items found by the query. RSS feeds can be activated from either the search results or the Saved Queries & Alerts folder on the My Queries tab. All that you need is to have an RSS reader installed on your computer.

If your browser supports RSS, click the RSS button. A window from which you can subscribe to the RSS feeds opens. Follow the instructions in the window.

If your browser does not support RSS, right-click the RSS button, copy the URL, and paste it into the RSS reader.
What's New in the New UI?
The newest vesion of the uSearch software has a new user interface (UI).  Here is some information about what is new, and what remains the same.

Results and ranking are the same.

Tabs and scopes for limiting your search are now integrated into the search box. Start typing, and the options for limiting your search will appear below:

Once you have done a search, more options are available to limit by library:

The choices to limit your search are the same as in our current catalog.
Options to limit your search to a certain material type, or search only in certain fields, have moved to the Advanced Search, instead of below the search bar.

Search results are no longer presented on pages with a set number of results per page. Instead, scroll to the bottom of the list to continue viewing more results.

When viewing an item, all information is now on one screen. Scroll down to view details, additional links, and virtual browse:


“e-Shelf” is now called “My Favorites,” and uses a pin icon instead of a star:

Items in My Favorites are organized using labels, instead of folders. Any items in your e-Shelf have been moved to My Favorites, and given labels to match their folders.

A new clock icon takes you to search history:

From there, you can also view saved searches and set up alerts.

Try it out!
You can preview the new UI here:
If you have any comments, please fill out our feedback form:

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