Last modified by Stevenson, Anne (IM&T, Newcastle) on Sep 17, 2019


There are two primary search options: Search by keyword and Advanced search.

An Expert search is only available to logged in users with the appropriate permissions, for more information see Expert Search

Search by keyword provides a quick option for searching the collection. You can simply type a word, phrase or name into the search box and click the button to get results.

Advanced search allows searching by specific field and the ability to limit search results using date of publication, language, full text availability and inclusion of related materials

Both search options allow the use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and wildcard searching.

Search by keyword

Search by keyword is the default search function on the RPR home page.

Words entered in the search box are searched for across the following metadata fields:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Keywords

You can enter a single word or several words. By default, Search by keyword combines words with AND, so that the more terms you enter, the more specific are the Search Results. Thus a search for carbon capture will return all records that contain both words “carbon” and “capture” in at least one of the metadata fields listed above.

You can enter terms in parentheses, the search terms in parentheses will be resolved before combining with the rest of the search expression. See Boolean Searching for more information about combining Boolean search terms and parentheses.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search allows you to specify the metadata field(s) you want to search. Use the Search Criteria section to enter your search term(s) and select from the following fields

  • Title
  • Author
  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • Publisher
  • Editor
  • Record Identifier
  • DOI

While the advanced search allows you to be very specific about what you are searching, you would need to combine the selection criteria with OR operators to get the same results as searching via the basic search. For example, to get the same result as entering carbon in the basic search, you would need to search for

carbon in Author OR carbon in Title OR carbon in Abstract OR carbon in Keywords

Boolean operators can be selected from the drop down options at the beginning of the search criteria row, or entered directly into the search term boxes. Information on using Boolean operators is given at the heading below.

Additional advanced search options are available to logged in users, for more information see  CSIRO User - Advanced search

Author searches

To search for an author, enter the surname in an Advanced Search box and select Author from the drop down options.
If the author has a common surname (for example Smith or Wang) you can narrow the search by using quote marks around their surname and initial, “Smith, R”. However you may need to run multiple searches for the various names an author may have published under, “Smith, Robert”, “Smith, Bob” to ensure that all publications are found.

Alternatively go to “Browse Publications” and try browsing by author.

Boolean searching

In either the Search by keyword or the Advanced Search, you can enter a single word and/or several words, connected by the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT.

To use AND, OR, and NOT as operators in a search box, you must type them in capital letters. Apart from Boolean operators, searches are not case sensitive.

For example

will produce the same results as

NOT operators are always processed first. In addition, AND operators always have precedence over OR operators. So even if an AND operator is entered after an OR operator it will be resolved first. For example, entering

birds OR mammals AND biodiversity

will be processed as

(mammals AND biodiversity) OR birds

If you are trying to find "(birds OR mammals) AND biodiversity" this can be entered into the basic search using parentheses, and it will be searched across the 4 basic search fields.

Using the Advanced Search you can also enter the search as:

However, this search is only finding the terms in the Abstract, rather than across Author, Title, Abstract and Keywords.

When using the NOT operator the following rules apply:

  • if using as a selection on the Advanced search page, simply choose from the drop down list
  • If you enter NOT in a Search box it is processed as "AND NOT" rather than "OR NOT"
  • the NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, NOT energy cannot be entered as a search term. However, efficiency NOT energy is valid.

Phrase searching

Putting search terms within quotation marks e.g. "carbon capture" will give you the results with that exact phrase in the metadata. Thus a search for multiple terms (e.g. carbon capture) is likely to retrieve more results than a search for a phrase (i.e."carbon capture").

Examples of valid search combinations:

  • sheep
  • sheep AND blowfly
  • sheep NOT blowfly
  • carbon capture
  • "carbon capture"
  • "carbon dioxide" AND capture
  • "carbon dioxide" NOT capture

Wildcard searches (* and ?)

The question mark '?' can be used to replace a single character. This will be useful if you are looking for a name, or a word, with a spelling variation that involves only one change of letter. For example:

  • Sm?th, will return results for both Smith and Smyth.
  • characteri?e, will return results for characterise and characterize

The asterisk '*' can be use to represent 0 or more characters.
For example:

  • where a 'Mc' surname may have been recorded as Mac or Mc, a wildcard can be used to find both variants - M*cDonald will find both McDonald and MacDonald.
  • col*r will find both colour and color

Please note: wildcard characters (* and ?) cannot be used as the first character in a query.

Advanced Search Limit Results

The  Limit Results section allows you to restrict your search results using the following criteria:

  • Publication Date - entered as a date range
  • Publication Language - the language in which the publication is written
  • Items with full text - those entries where the text of the publication is attached to the record
  • Items with related material - those entries where the record includes a link to associated material, eg a data or software collection, another publication

Search Limitations

Maximum query length

Different browsers have different maximum query lengths. If you have an extremely long search query involving many criteria or a large block of text enclosed in quotation marks, you may reach the maximum query length for your browser.  If this occurs you will get an error message.  Try simplifying your search, searching on individual words or shorter phrases within the block of text.

Limiting search by Date Range

Often publication dates are only entered by year with no month information.  Publications made available by RPR in the first six months of the year, without a publication month entered, are considered to be published on 1 January.  Publications made available by RPR in the last six months of the year, are considered to be published on 1 July. You may need to enter broader date ranges to see particular publications in results.

Need help with the Research Publications Repository? Please contact the Ask A Librarian service at or phone +61 8 8303 8555


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