SUNScholar/Search Tips

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What is searched in the general keyword search (Simple Search)?

The search function in SUNScholar works similar to the search function in Google. The word(s) you enter in the search box will be searched against the title, author/supervisor, subject, abstract, series, sponsor, type, coverage, identifier fields and full text of each item's record. Searches are not case sensitive, e.g. searches for "engine" and "Engine" will retrieve the same hits. English is the predominant language of research material - therefore use English search terms unless you know that the item you are searching for is Afrikaans.

Phrase Searching

To search using multiple words as a phrase or to search a title or part of a title, put quotation marks (") around the phrase e.g. "supply chain relationships", "A 3-year cytogenetic survey of 9661 patients in South Africa" (title search).


These can be used in the search query to group search terms into sets, and operators can then be applied to the whole set, e.g. "(cats OR dogs) AND (training OR discipline)"

Truncation and stemming

Please note that the search engine uses stemming which means that you will get a match for all words with the same stem. For example, when searching for "selection" you will also find "selected" and "selecting". If you wish to search for a particular stem please use the asterisk (*) after a word stem to get all hits having words starting with that root e.g. select*.