Flinders University Library
Search Smart

Library Research Tools

Use this guide to decide the best search tools to use to find resources for your research

FindIt@Flinders - a discovery tool

What is FindIt@Flinders?

FindIt@Flinders is a library search tool that allows you to search across the library's online and physical collections with one interface.  It is located on the top of all library pages, library FLO page and quick links box on right. It is a useful search tool but you will probably need to use other search tools e.g. research databases because they contain information that is NOT available through FindIt@Flinders.

What does FindIT contain?

Why do I need to use it

FindIt@Flinders is the main discovery tool to locate items in the collection. You need to use it to find any book held in the collection. You also need to use it to find items in the Readings collection. We would recommend it as an excellent starting point for most research projects. You may not want to go straight to the Library Research databases if you are completing a systematic review or evidenced-based searches. It will probably be necessary to go to more specific databases as some stage in the research process anyway.

What search Strategies should I use?

The following are all useful strategies to apply to make a FindIt@Flinders search better:

  • Keyword searching
  • Subject searching
  • Boolean Operators
  • Truncation
  • Phrase searching
  • Limiting your search

Check the Search Smart Search Strategies guide for more information on building a search strategy.

Simple Search 

 Simply type in a word or words and click GO!

You can limit the scope of your search by using the dropdown box.

Use quotation " " marks to search as a phrase. If you know the authors name, you can include their surname in the search. This is useful if the name of the resource is common, e.g. a textbook called Accounting.

If you need resources on a subject start by entering one of more keywords that define the subject into the search box.

If you have found a good resource for your subject you can find other resources on the same subject by clicking on the Details tab. Any subjects listed in this tab will be hyperlinked to other records that contain the same subject.

Advanced Search

Access advanced search from the library homepage by clicking the FindIt@Flinders logo then clicking the link to the right of the search button. Advanced search allows you to define what fields are searched for your query terms (e.g. author, title, subject) and it allows you to define your search scope with greater precision (e.g. date range, material type, language).

The left dropdown box allows you to define what fields are searched. Use the middle dropdown box to further define the search results that will be returned. You can also limit your search with greater precision by selecting a date range, material type including images, audio visual and theses or language.


Search Results

The brief view of a record will include basic citation details such as the title, author, publication date and edition. It also indicates the resource type (e.g. book, article, journal)

If it is an online resource click View Online. For physical items, click on the Location tab to find the location number and branch library where it is held. If the item is checked out from the library you can place a request for it. Learn about requests here.

The library can hold several different versions of an item. To view details such as location and editions click on the title or the yellow versions tab on the top right.

A simple search can return a large number of results. Facets are a quick way to limit the results. Common facets include Peer Review Journals, Full Text Online, Subject, Creation Date, Resource Type and Topic. Facets are in the left column of search results. You can select more than one facet for each search.




In FindIt@Flinders you can place a requests on the following:


  • Items on the shelf – Items which are available on the shelf at any Flinders Library branch can be requested.
  • Items on loan to another user – Once requested the item will no longer be eligible for automatic renewals and the patron who has the item on loan will have to return the item by the next due date.
  • Items at another Flinders branch Library – Request items from one branch location, collect at another.


Watch this quick video demonstration to see how easy it is to place a request using FindIt@Flinders.




More detailed information about requests can be found on the Requesting and Collecting pages on the Library website.

My Account

My Account allows you to:

  • view loans
  • manage requests
  • use e-shelf
  • view blocks

Find the Sign in link at the top right corner of any FindIt@Flinders screen. If you are on the Library homepage click on the FindIt@Flinders logo first.


If you are a current Flinders University staff or student sign in with your FAN and password. Other library patrons sign in with your library barcode (name) and your family name (password). If you have both a staff and student library account sign in with your FAN and password to access your staff account. To access your student account sign in with your library barcode and family name.


Once you are signed in, you can place requests on items (see the Requests & Holds Tab of this guide for more information).


The Loans page in My Account allows you to view your active and historic loans. This allows you to see what items are on your record and when they are due. Items will automatically be renewed* on their due date up to 4 times unless someone has requested them. *excludes 2 hour loans and document delivery items

Click here for more information on demerits and blocks.


Use e-Shelf to save and manage your searches in FindIt@Flinders. Sign in to My Account to have items saved in your e-Shelf.

To save a record to your e-Shelf highlight the star to the left of the record title by clicking on it. If you want to save the entire page of records click the star next to the Add page to e-shelf link, found on the top left column of the results page.

All items are originally saved in your basket. You can organise your e-Shelf into folders, click on the new folder symbol on the top left, then drag and drop items into folders.

You can add notes at both the item and folder level. To add a note click on the note symbol, type your note in the text box and save.


You will find options to delete, email, or print your e-Shelf above the title list.

Saved Searches

FindIt@Flinders allows you to:

  • save your searches
  • receive email alerts
  • subscribe to rss feeds

You will need to sign in to My Account use these features.

To save a query you will first need to conduct a search and make any desired refinements. In the top left hand corner of the results page there will be the option to Save query (if the save query link is not there check that you are signed in).

View your saved searches in the Queries tab in My Account. From here you can rerun the search by clicking on the query name, set it up as an email alert or RSS feed, or delete it.

An email alert is a saved query that has been set up to automatically run at a scheduled time with new results sent to your email inbox. Complete a search, name the query and click on Save & alert. You can then nominate an email address for results to be sent to. You can also choose if you want to be alerted only if new results are found or every time the search is run. Searches are run every day so if you choose Send anyway you will receive emails daily.



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