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About BU Libraries Search

The search box on most library web pages searches the quality academic material provided by the BU Libraries, including print books and ebooks, print journals and ejournals, video and audio recordings, databases, and online articles. It also searches a carefully selected set of scholarly resources from across the web.

By default, the search box performs a search in BU Libraries. However, the Search In drop-down menu in the search box can be used to instead search in Guides or the BU Libraries Website.

  • Guides—This will search the Library Guides, giving tips on research for particular topics or courses.
  • Website only—This will search the library website (but not the books, journals, etc.).

Search Tips

  • Sign In: It is very important to sign into the BU Search interface in order to retrieve materials which BU owns or to which the BU Libraries subscribe.  Signing into the system also allows you to save items to an e-shelf, request items in the catalog, view items electronically, and access your account.  You may miss valuable resources by not signing into the system.
  • Use quotes to search for a phrase:
global warming

will find results with “global” and “warming” anywhere in the indexed information about an item (title, author, publisher, subject, and in some cases table of contents or full-text of the item)

"global warming"

will only find results in which “global warming” appears as a phrase. For more ways to control the search, see Power Searching.

  • To narrow your search to books, articles, or other materials, please use the “Refine my Results” facets on the left side of the search screen after conducting your search. You can also use the drop-down menus below the search box. See Refining Search Results for more details.
  • Use Advanced Search to construct more complex searches. More in Advanced Search.
  • Use Browse Search to see a list of items by title, author, subject, or call number.
  • Email or print results, or send them to RefWorks. See Working with Search Results for details.
  • Click on star icon e-Shelf Icon Off to add item to e-Shelf. Then Sign In to save the e-shelf or a query, and set up alerts or RSS feeds. More in Saving Searches and Results.