Search Tips

Two Ways to Search

Basic Search

Using basic search or the related advanced search you will find printed books and journals in the collection, as well as theses, e-journals, links to databases and most e-books.

International e-Materials Search

Select International e-materials search to find articles and online publications in English. Primo Central is an index of millions of scholarly articles and publications.

How to Find a Book?

Type words from a book title or author. Finna will give you suggestions.

Book search


Selecting Book material from the suggestions will narrow your search to books. Searching for a book title as a phrase in quotation marks may help:

"international business"

You can combine words from a book title, author, publisher etc.:

marketing Kotler

Try wildcards if you don't know the exact word:

organization* theory

Video on YouTube: How to find a book on SAMK Finna

Linkki to the video.

Wildcards ? *

To perform a single character wildcard search use the ? symbol.

For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:


To perform a multiple character, 0 or more, wildcard search use the * symbol.

For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:


You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.


Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Narrowing the Results

You can use the Narrow Search menu to narrow your search results according to format (e.g. thesis), organisation (e.g. campus library), language or time range. You can select several criteria at the same time.

Advanced Search

Search Fields

When you visit the Advanced Search page, you are presented with several search fields. In each field, you can type the keywords you want to search for. Search operators are allowed.

Each field is accompanied by a drop-down that lets you specify the type of data (title, author, etc.) you are searching for. You can mix and match search types however you like.

The "Match" setting lets you specify how multiple search fields should be handled.

  • ALL Terms - Return only records that match every search field.
  • ANY Terms - Return any records that match at least one search field.
  • NO Terms -- Return all records EXCEPT those that match search fields.

The "Add Search Field" button may be used to add additional search fields to the form. You may use as many search fields as you wish.

Search Groups

For certain complex searches, a single set of search fields may not be enough. For example, suppose you want to find books about the history of Finland or Sweden. If you did an ALL Terms search for Finland, Sweden and history, you would only get books about Finland AND Sweden AND history.

Search Groups provide a way to build searches from multiple groups of search fields. Every time you click the "Add Search Group" button, a new group of fields is added. Once you have multiple search groups, you can remove unwanted groups with the "Remove Search Group" button, and you can specify whether you want to match on ANY or ALL search groups.

In the example above, you could solve the problem using search groups like this:

  • In the first search group, enter "Finland" and "Sweden" and make sure that the "Match" setting is "ANY Terms."
  • Add a second search group and enter "history."
  • Make sure the match setting next to the Search Groups header is set to "ALL Groups."

Advanced search

Similar search in the basic search page using Boolean operators and parentheses:

(Finland OR Sweden) AND history

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined with logic operators.

Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS


The AND operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the AND operator is used. The AND operator matches records where both terms exist anywhere in the field of a record.

To search for records that contain "marketing" and "Kotler" use the query:

marketing Kotler


marketing AND Kotler


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching record if either of the terms exist in a record.

To search for documents that contain either "marketing Kotler" or just "Kotler" use the query:

"marketing Kotler" OR Kotler


The NOT operator excludes records that contain the term after NOT.

To search for documents that contain "marketing" but not "Kotler" use the query:

marketing NOT Kotler

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT marketing


You can use parentheses for more complex search strings. The search inside parentheses will be done first:

(Finland OR Sweden) AND history

Phrase searches

Search term or terms enclosed in quotation marks will be used literally.

To search for records containing the exact phrase "international business":

"international business"

Also single words can be enclosed in quotation marks to use the term literally, ignoring different conjugations.

Finetuning Your Search

Fuzzy Searches

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "look" use the fuzzy search:


This search will find terms like book and lock.

An additional parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:


The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.

Proximity Searches

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a Multiple word Term. For example, to search for marketing and Kotler that are within 10 words apart:

"marketing Kotler"~10

Range Searches

To perform a range search you can use either the { } or the [ ] characters. The { } characters are exclusive and the [ ] characters are inclusive of the upper and lower bounds. For example to search for a term that starts with either B, or C:

{A TO D}

The searches can be done with numeric fields such as the Year:

[2002 TO 2003]

Boosting a Term

To apply more value to a term, you can use the ^ character. For example, you can try the following search:

marketing Kotler^5

Which will give more value to the term "Kotler"