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Alma Search and Navigation

Where is it and how do I find it?

Advanced Search

Building on everything in Basic Search, Advanced search adds power, flexibility, and granularity through:

  • Additional search criteria for each search type
  • Operators for each criteria, including "is empty" and "contains"
  • The ability to search for more than one term for the same criteria in the same row
  • The ability to search on multiple criteria at the same time

To conduct an advanced search, choose a search type and click on Advanced Search on the far right.

Not every search type has advanced search. Search types with Advanced Search are:

  • Titles – All, Physical, Electronic
  • Physical Items
  • Electronic Collections & Portfolios
  • Order Lines (POLs)
  • Licenses
  • Reading Lists
  • Authorities

Additional Criteria

To keep Basic Search basic, it includes a limited number of criteria. Advanced Search provides access to all the available criteria for each Search Type.

The best way to explore the additional criteria is to choose a Search Type, click Advanced search, then scroll through the list of criteria.

For materials searches (Physical or Electronic), these criteria will include fields from all three levels of related records:

Physical Titles and Physical Items searches include criteria from the Title, Holdings, and Item record

Electronic Titles, Electronic Collection, and Electronic Portfolios searches include criteria from the Title, Collection, and Portfolio records

For specific lists of Incredibly Useful Criteria organized by functional area, see the Analytics or Advanced Search? page (in the left navigation).

Working With Alma Search Operators

Advanced search text operatorsIn Basic Search, the default operator on the criteria is "keywords" or "includes." One reason to use Advanced Search is to get access to additional operators.

Is Empty - One of the most useful of these additional criteria may be Is Empty. By choosing Is Empty, you can search for records in which that field is empty/contains no information. For example, empty barcodes, call numbers, order numbers, URLs, proxy information, etc. Read the Ex Libris documentation on Searching for Items Without Specific Information for more.

Starts With - To conduct a more precise Title search, use the Starts With operator.

Advanced search number operatorsAdditional number-related operators - If you're searching by publication or other dates, Advanced Search gives you access to "greater than (>)," "less than (<)," "greater than or equal to (>=)," "less than or equal to (<<=)," "Before," "After," and more.

Date picker calendars - For some number entries (such as Activation date), you can choose from a calendar

Date ranges - Include one row with a Before date and one with an After date to search within a date range

Advanced search date operators

Multiple Terms and Rows

Multiple Terms in One Row

Some criteria - such as Permanent Physical Location (Holdings) - allow you to add more than one search term to the same row, usually from a drop-down list. To do this:

  1. Choose the criteria
  2. Choose the operator
  3. In the search term box, choose the first term you want to add (such as the Circulating collection at a library). Find the term, then click on it to add it.
  4. To add another term for the same criteria, find the second term in the list and click on it.
  5. Repeat for all the terms you want to add.

Click the X next to any term to remove it from the list.


Multiple Rows of Criteria & Terms

To add another row, click on the plus at the end of the first row.

To delete a row, click on the X at the end of that row. Note that you can only delete the first row after you add a second row.

You cannot re-arrange the rows, but you can insert rows by clicking on the plus sign for the row above where you want to add one.

To duplicate a row, click the "copy page" icon at the end of that row. Do this to add multiple subjects to a search, or other criteria that don't allow you to enter multiple terms in the same row.

Using multiple rows in advanced search


And/Or Operator for Rows

The default setting for Advanced Search is to link all the rows by AND. (Subject AND Item status AND Location AND Publication Year)

You can change the row operator to OR between two rows, but you need to organize the search query to make sure your OR is in the right place. If the search doesn't work, delete and re-add rows to get the OR into a better place in the query.

In these three screenshots, look closely at the search fields and then at the query logic below them.

Advanced Search Examples