Using OneSearch

Your discovery tool

OneSearch provides access to the resources you need to support your studies and research. As well as the physical items housed within the Library it offers a way to search and retrieve eBooks, journal articles, audio-visual material and more, and you can access these from anywhere in the world with your Lancaster network login.


  • Getting started




    Visit Lancaster University Library on YouTube for videos on using OneSearch effectively to find ebooks and journal articles, using My Account to manage your loans and more.

    OneSearch Features

    • a spell checker (did you mean?) and suggestions for refining search results (facets)
    • multiple refining and sorting options
    • book covers
    • the ability to add send references to bibliographic software, add tags, follow citation links, and more

    Search Hints

    • For phrases use quotation marks: "global warming"
    • For truncated searches use an asterisk: cultur*
    • To include any word or phrase use OR: football OR soccer
    • To exclude a term use NOT: football NOT american
    • To group terms use brackets: (football OR soccer) NOT american

    What am I Searching?

    • Books & More: Search the Main Library or Ruskin Library catalogues for items such as books, maps, DVDs, theses.
    • Articles & More: Search the Primo Central Index – a large database of scholarly material.
    • Everything: A combined search of the above.

    By logging in to OneSearch, you can also access your personal account, where you can save useful results in your e-shelf, renew your loans, request items that are currently out on loan, and set some personal preferences.

    You can also access OneSearch and your account through the iLancaster mobile phone app.

  • Linking to Google Scholar



    What is Google Scholar? Google Scholar is a search engine that indexes the content of scholarly material published on the Web and in electronic books and journals.

    Does it index everything? No, Google have made arrangements with a number of publishers to allow Google to index the content of the publisher's books and journals. But not all publishers have agreed to allow Google access to their content – a great deal of scholarly literature is still only available through the various databases and electronic publications to which the Library subscribes – these can be found using our OneSearch discovery service.

    How do I link Google Scholar with OneSearch? Watch the video below on how to do it:

  • Linking to resources



    Deep linking to OneSearch

    This section describes how to create a 'deep link' to a physical item that is in the Library.

    • Firstly, carry out a search for the item in OneSearch
    • When you have found the item you want click on the title and the full view of the record will open - look under the 'Send to' options and you will see an option to create a 'Permalink'
    • The resulting URL will link back to that item and can be used on any Web page

    Linking to a DOI

    The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) of a journal article is often given on publisher Websites – here is an example: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2003.10.006. It is a unique number that is supposed to persist should the publisher or Website change (though you may come across DOI links that fail as it isn't a perfect system). You can turn a DOI into a link that will work on or off campus by inserting it into the DOI box below and then using the link generated.

    Stable URLs

    Some publishers provide permanent or 'stable' links to individual journal articles. Using a DOI number as above is probably best in the long run but this option can work where a DOI does not exist.

    This is an example of a stable URL to an article hosted by JSTOR: You can turn a stable URL into a link that will work on or off campus by inserting it into the URL box below and then using the link generated.

  • Off campus access to resources



    If you are working from off-campus it is recommended that you log in to OneSearch to access all the resources available to you or to view your Library account. Once you have logged in you should not have to log in again unless you close and reopen your browser or leave the session inactive for more than 30 minutes.

    If you are using Moodle and following links to your resource lists you will also be required to log in.

    If you are browsing the Web and finding articles or Ebooks that you want to read then you will need to log in to whatever site you have found - bearing in mind that the Library may not have a subscription. You will need to look for links that are similar to:

    • Institutional login
    • Shibboleth
    • UK Access Management Federation

    Choose Lancaster from any list of institutions and you will be taken to our local WebLogin page, where you use your network username and password.

    Please ignore any OpenAthens or Athens links as Lancaster does not use that service.

    Unique usernames and passwords

    Some resources require different credentials to the above, whether you are on or off-campus. At present these are:

    • Foresight: the International Journal of Applied Forecasting
    • FRIEZE
    • Oracle (International Institute of Forecasters)

    Get the details

  • OneSearch tips



    Keyword searching

    Enter one or more words you are looking for and click the Search icon or hit enter on the keyboard. You can choose what type of material you want to find by selecting 'Books and more', 'Articles and more', or 'Everything' from the drop-down menu. OneSearch will now look for items containing all of the words you have entered.

    Phrase searching

    To search for a phrase, wrap quotation marks around your phrase, eg "social exclusion".

    Searching for any word or phrase

    You can search for items that contain at least one of the words or phrases you type in the Search box. To do so, type OR between the words or phrases.

    For example, to search for items with the word soccer or the word football, type the following in the search box: soccer OR football. Try the advanced search option as this makes it easier to construct complex searches line by line.

    Excluding words or phrases

    You can exclude items that contain specific words or phrases. To do so, type NOT and then type the word or phrase to exclude.

    For example, to search for items with the word football and exclude any of these items with the word soccer, enter the following in the search box: football NOT soccer.

    Note: When using AND, OR, NOT between search terms you must enter them in uppercase letters, otherwise OneSearch will consider them as part of the query.

    Searching using wildcard characters

    You can also use the following wildcard characters in your searches:

    Use a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search.

    For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the words woman, women etc

    Use an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search.

    For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain words such as culture, cultural, culturally etc

    Expand your search

    Use the power of Recommendations to find out what others are reading relating to your search. When you search for articles you will see a list of related items on the right-hand side of the results list.

    Times Cited

    When searching for articles you will see that some results have a Citations section. In here you will see links to records 'citing this' and 'cited in this' article, and so get an idea of how much impact the article has had. To get a comprehensive idea of an article's impact you should combine this feature with a search in the Web of Science or Scopus databases.

    DOI search

    To search for a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), just pop it into the search box and choose the 'Articles and more' tab. Leave the prefix out, just include the bit after eg 10.1177/0961463X15575842

    Relevancy ranking

    When you search under the 'Articles and More' and 'Everything' tabs, you have the option to specify the discipline in which you are primarily interested. Once you have your list of brief results, click on the 'Personalise' button at the top of the list. You will see a pop-up window similar to this:

    You can change this at any time, or choose not to use it - it's up to you.

    This personalised relevancy setting does not alter the total number of results you will retrieve for a given search, but it will take into account whether you are, for instance, doing Law and want to show results from journals allied to Law. The list of disciplines do not match exactly the departments at Lancaster, so choose the nearest you can to the subject that interests you most, ideally just one to get the best relevancy matching.

    This only works on searches carried out in the 'Articles and More' and 'Everything' tabs on OneSearch and the relevancy improvement does depend to a certain extent on the nature of the search. Try it and see if it works for you. We would be interested in any feedback.