Western Libraries

Omni - Academic Search Tool

How to use the Basic Search

The basic search is the default search on the Western Libraries homepage. To begin, input keywords related to your topic and select the magnifying glass icon at the end of the search bar (or press Enter on your keyboard).

Example of a basic search:

How to use the Advanced Search

The Advanced Search allows for a detailed search strategy to be formulated before a search is conducted. Areas that can be searched include: 

  • Author/Creator
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Medical Subject (MESH)
  • Genre
  • Call Number
  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • ISSN (International Standard Serial Number)

Resource Types that can be searched include:

  • Books/eBooks
  • Articles
  • Journals
  • Maps
  • Images
  • Scores
  • Sound recordings
  • Video/Film
  • Kits
  • Theses & dissertations
  • Research guides

Example of an Advanced Search:

Search Techniques

Search Techniques Examples
AND - this is assumed between words pop AND music AND culture
OR - used between words for synonyms climate OR weather
NOT - to exclude words debate NOT discuss
( ) parentheses - for grouping terms Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet)
" " quotes - for exact phrases "War and Peace"
? - wildcard for spelling variations colo?r (results would include colour or color)
* - for variations of words attack* (results would include attacks, attacking, attacker, etc.)

Note: To use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) within search phrases, you must enter them in uppercase letters. Otherwise, Omni removes them and performs a simple search that includes all search phrases.

Browsing for materials

To browse for materials rather than searching for them, you can explore materials by Author, Title, Subject, or Call Number. 

Note: Browse will only include materials owned by Western & Affiliate Libraries. Partner institutions will only appear in the results if Western & Affiliate Libraries also own the item in question.

Example of browsing:


Please contact library@uwo.ca with questions.