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LAB - Information Retrieval Toolkit

Basic search

When you use LAB Primo always start by signing in from the top right corner using your university ID (LAB students & staff), this gives you access to electronic materials and enables you to save your searches. 

When doing a basic search start by typing the search words into the search box and clicking on the magnifying glass or pressing enter. If you use very specific search terms you might not get very many results, in that case try using broader terms, for example university of applied sciences students -> higher education students. But usually when you search using English search terms you get too many not too few results. 

Once you've done the search you can narrow down the results from the menu on the right. It is worth narrowing the search results by availability, resource type and publication date to get better results. Select the filter(s) you want to use and click on Apply Filters -button, this will update the search results. We recommend using the Peer-reviewed Journals -filter when searching for research articles.    

If you are doing several searches you can click on the Remember all filters - button so you won't have re-select the filters every time you do a search. You can remove the filters by clicking on the X next to filter. 

Clicking the title of the search results will open a view with additional information about the resource, for example the location of the resource if its a print copy or the link to the electronic material,  article abstracts, subject terms as well as citation examples for the source. 

You can access electronic materials either through the search result list (Download PDF or Read online) or by clicking the Available online -link. The Available Online -link will take you the same view of the resource as clicking the title. 

Tip! You can save your search query with the "Save query" button at the top of the search result list. You can also save individual search results by clicking the pin icon next to the search result. You can access the saved searches and search results from My Favorites in the dropdown menu in top right corner under your name.

Advanced Search

Try the advanced search if you are getting too many results with the basic search or combining search terms seems tricky. The advanced search makes it easier to combine search terms and it allows you to narrow down your search more than the basic search. 

The advanced search allows you target only certain fields such as title, subject or ISSN in your search by selecting the wanted field from the dropdown menu under Any field. Limiting the search to a certain field will narrow the search results. The default search looks for the search term in all the fields meaning the search term can appear in the abstract but it isn't necessary the main topic / key content of the article. Searching the subject field ensures that the search term in one of the main topics in search results as subject terms describe the main ideas of an article.  

Limiting the search to just the title will usually leave out relevant results so proceed with caution when using this field. If you are looking for a particular article this is a good limitation or you can try using quotation marks around the article title to filter out irrelevant results. 


Once you have done the search you can filter the search results by availability, resource type or year of publication, the same way as in the basic search. Using the Peer-reviewed Journals -filter under Availability ensures that the results are research articles or scholarly articles which are suitable sources in higher education. Read more about evaluating sources.