Search Tips

To get the most value out of PiraBase, why not spend a few moments learning about some easy search techniques? You will find the information you need much more quickly, and also have confidence that the titles you have found are the best you can get.

Searching PiraBase

You can simply type the most relevant words to your search in the top search box- the documents which mention all those words (in the same record) will be retrieved. It won't matter whether you use capitals or lower case.

Using AND, OR and NOT

To look for words of similar meaning you need to add OR to your search strategy e.g. (recycling OR reclaiming), otherwise it will only pick out those records that mention both the terms recycling and reclaiming.

If you want to use this along with other terms you will need to use AND and brackets e.g. bottle AND (recycling OR reclaiming). You can use as many different terms and as many sets of brackets as you like. This is very easy when you get the hang of it, and can make a really big difference to the quality of your results.

You can eliminate a set of results using NOT, e.g. bottle AND (recycling OR reclaiming) NOT pet to look for recycling of bottles other than those made of polyethylene terephthalate. Be wary when using NOT because it will eliminate all records that mention the term in question. For example, the above search query will eliminate all records mentioning PET, even those that discuss the recycling of many types of plastic bottle which happens to include PET.

Search fields

You can just type words into the main search query box at the top of the search page. This will search the following fields:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Index Terms
  • Trade Names
  • Accession Number

Free Text Searching

The system will assist you in your search by automatically searching for singular or plural forms and usually for both UK and US spellings.

Phrase Searching

To search for a phrase you need to use 'single quotes' or "double quotes" e.g.'energy savings' will find records with those two words next to each other.


*will find zero to an infinite number of characters
e.g. extru* will find extruder, extruders, extruded, extrusion, etc.