Skip to Main Content

Primo -- The All-In-One Library Search

This guide introduced students and faculty to Primo, the all-in-one research engine. For the advanced tutorial see Primo-Advanced.

The Basics


Video Tutorial 1 (1:29)
Video Tutorial 2 (1.49)
Video Tutorial 3 (1:11)

When you type several keywords in Primo without a search operators AND, OR, or NOT (see below), Primo will treat the keywords as a phrase. What that means is that Primo will try to return results in which all the words may be close together. 

For example: 
If you search for  brooklyn dodgers mickey owen,  Primo will look for articles that have all those words as closer together as possible -- but not necessarily in the order you typed them. 

If you search for  brooklyn dodgers AND mickey owen, Primo will look for articles that have the words in the phrase brooklyn dodgers close together and the phrase mickey owen close together, but the two phrases don't have to be close to one another. The first phrase may appear at the beginning of the article and the last phrase at the end. 

The quotation marks ( " " ) operator will focus your query more precisely by creating a phrase of two or more terms that will be treated like a single term. Only documents containing all the terms in exactly the same order as in your phrase will be returned for your query.

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.




Video Tutorial (2:19)


*NOTE: To use the operators (AND, OR or NOT) within search phrases, you must enter them in UPPERCASE LETTERS. Otherwise, Primo removes them and performs a simple search that includes all search phrases.

If you're searching for at least one of the words or phrases, use OR in your search. 

If you want to exclude a word or a phrase, use NOT



Video Tutorial (3:01)

You can use parentheses to group terms to clarify the order of multiple operators specified in a query.


The phrases in the parenthesis take precedence over the phrase outside of the parenthesis. So Primo will search first for brooklyn dodgers and mickey owen and then for chicago cubs and mickey owen.

If you didn't have the parenthesis, Primo would search for brooklyn dodgers and then for chicago cubs and mickey owen. You would get different results. 


Video Tutorial (5:50)

The search scope defines which selection or location Primo should perform the search. 

The search scope defaults to EVERYTHING, which means Primo will search all the materials the library owns and subscribes to online. But Primo allows you to be more specific for what you want to search or where. 


You can refine your results in Primo by applying filters in the left sidebar.

When filters are added one at a time, the system returns the remaining results that match the selected filter value. You can specify more complex filtering if you select multiple filters and then apply them to the results at the same time.

To make a filterpersistent, hover the cursor over the facet in the Active filters section and then click the filter's padlock PadlockIcon.png.