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Primo Search FAQ: Searching Primo

This guide is intended to answer general questions about our new discovery tool, Primo Search.

Why should I sign into Primo?

When you sign into Primo, you are able to do the following:

  • Access externally licensed resources.
  • Request or recall items.
  • Save items from your results list and searches you have performed for future use.
  • Set preferences to reflect the way you usually search and save them for future sessions.
  • Access your account to find out what you currently have checked out.


You should also sign out of Primo so that your searches remain private and your settings are not tampered with by anyone else.

What are scopes?

Scopes are different collections to search.  Change scopes by using the drop down menu next to the search box. The default scope is 'Collins, Summit, and Articles.' It includes items owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library, and items owned by the 36 academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Selected articles subscribed to by Collins Library are available. Search individual databases for more comprehensive results.

Other scope options are:

  • Collins and Summit
    • Items owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library.
    • Collections of 36 academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance.
  • Collins
    • Only owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library.
    • Includes ebooks, print books, cds, scores, DVDs, course reserves, government doucuments and more.
    • Journal titles are searchable, but articles are not.

How does Primo work with Google Scholar?

If you can't find the fulltext article of an online journal in Google Scholar, here are a few things to try:

1.     Sign in to Google Scholar to access links in Primo.

2.     Click on our library link, e.g., "viewit@PugetSound", to the right of the search result;

3.      Click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;

4.      Click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;

5.      Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles

Note: Only electronic holdings are published to Google scholar, and not print holdings.

How can I search for a phrase?

You can often get better results if you search for a phrase by typing quotation marks around the phrase. You can also combine both words and phrases in your search.

For example:

"African Americans" and psychology

Note: If you do not enclose the phrase with quotation marks, Primo will find items that contain the individual words in the phrase, regardless of whether these words are located next to each other in the order specified.

How can I broaden a search?

To broaden a search, enter an asterisk * at the end of a word  to perform a multiple character wildcard search.

For example,

educat* retrieves the words educate, educator, education, etc.

You can also broaden a search in the following ways:

  • Use the scope Collins, Summit, Articles.
  • Type OR in uppercase letters between words or phrases to find at least one of the words or phrases. If you do not specify OR, Primo assumes you are searching for all the specified words or phrases.

How can I see what I've checked out?

If you have logged into Primo using your account, click on my account in the upper right corner to view items you have currently checked out.

What is the My Favorites feature?

The My Favorites feature allows you to save and organize items you find when searching Primo. To access the My Favorites feature, click the pin icon link at the top of the page.

When you click the pin icon for an item in the search results, Primo changes the icon and adds the item to your saved records.

How do I find video in Primo?

To find a video, do a keyword search. If you cannot find what you need in the first few results, use the limit option to refine your results to video.

You can also do an advanced search and limit material type to "eAudio and eVideo" to find streaming/digital video.