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Sofia - User Guide

Advanced Search

This functionality is a more complete form to specify various criteria, which appears by clicking on “Advanced Search”, under the magnifying glass icon or on the top left corner, under the Sofia logo.

Advanced search includes different types of  boxes, where users specify their criteria, or “index”. This includes different types of information to describe an item (title, author, editor, year of publication, language, ISBN, etc.).

You may add search boxes with the “+ Add Row” button.

Click here to access the index list and definitions. Please also refer to the Search Index section in this guide.

Advanced search includes other options:

  • Search a specific database or group of databases;
  • Narrow results to open access or scientific articles;
  • Request a specific format;
  • Specify a range of publication dates;
  • Select a branch or library .

To avoid incomplete search results, follow these guidelines for keywords:


The case does not affect search results. Keywords are upper case, lower case, or a combination of both. However, Boolean operators (see below) are upper case.

Stop Words

Avoid French or English stop words (le, la, les, du, de, des, a, an, but, the, etc.) because the Sofia discovery tool does not take them into account . Use quotation marks " " for stop words that must be taken into account with the search.

Example: The = “the”.

Punctuation and Diacritical signs

Avoid punctuation or diacritical signs.
Example: é=e, à=a, ç=c, ù=u, etc.

Exemple : é=e, à=a, ç=c, ù=u, etc.

Apostrophe (‘)

Avoid apostrophes (‘) and the letter preceding them, or omit the apostrophe and space between the words preceding and following the apostrophe. To include all variations, link both options with a Boolean OR.
Example: for l’Étranger, enter etranger OR letranger


Use hyphens (-) or replace hyphens with a space.

Example: sans-abri, sans abri

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