Simple Search

Enter your search term in the search field of the knowledge portal. If you enter more than one word, the search will look for results containing all the terms. Select one of the three tabs with the relevant data sources.

Einfache Suche

Sort results

The default is to sort results by relevance. You can sort them also by date, or by creator and by title. Results in the tab "Our website" can be sorted by relevance only.

Narrow search

The right-hand column beside the results list suggests terms you can use to narrow your search:

Narrow search

"More options" allows you to show more terms and refine the search by including or excluding several terms.

Suche verfeinern

Example: Restrict the result to "Images" and "Videos".

Narrow search video

To remove this restriction, click on the X.

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Search for a phrase

If you want to search for a phrase (group of words), put quotation marks around it. You can combine phrases and words in one search query:


The results show documents containing both the term "climate change" and the aspect "impact".

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Using Boolean operators

You can use the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT in your search. They must be written in upper case.

Important: where no operators are used, search terms are automatically linked with AND.

All search terms linked with AND must be present in the results. AND allows you to limit the number of results.

Beispiel mit AND: Global AND climate AND change

The results show documents containing all three terms: global, climate and change.

The following search will produce the same result:

gleiches ergebnis

At least one of the search terms linked with OR must be present in the results. OR allows you to expand the number of results.

Beispiel OR: "climate change" OR "global warming"

The results show documents containing the phrases "climate change" or "global warming" or both.

Search terms excluded with NOT will not be shown in the results. NOT therefore allows you to exclude specific words or phrases.

Beispiel NOT: "climate change" NOT "global warming"

The results show documents containing the phrase "climate change" but not "global warming".

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Your search can include the wildcards ? and *:

? wildcard substitutes a single character:


Searches for woman, women, etc

* wildcard substitutes no or several characters:


Searches for culture, cultures, cultural, etc.

* can also help to find different spellings:


Searches for behaviour, behavior, etc.

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Grouping search terms

You can use brackets to group search terms within a query.


Searches for "shakespeare" and also for "tragedy" or "sonnet".

For more complex searches you can also use the Advanced search.

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Advanced search

The individual search fields of the Advanced search Can be linked with AND, OR and NOT respectively.

Advanced search

Searches for "jones" as the creator and for "wheat" or "triticum". The search is additionally limited to the resource type "Books" and the language "English".

By using the centre field of the three search lines you can specify whether the search terms are to be searched for in any specific order or as a phrase.

Title contains

For example, this search will also find "Journal of the American Society of Agronomy".

Title as a phrase

This search will show only results with titles containing the words "journal of agronomy" (in that order), e.g. “European journal of agronomy."

In the field title you can also specify the beginning of a title.

Title starts with

This search will show all titles that start with “journal of agronomy”, e.g. "Journal of agronomy and crop science."

The "Search Scope" field can be used to limit the search to a single source/collection:

Search scope


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Sign in / Sign out

Sign into the Knowledge Portal to request documents (loan, copies), automatically fill in your name into order and contact forms and to use the personalisation features (e-Shelf and language settings).

Outside the ETH Zurich network in the search tab „Articles and more“, the search is limited to fewer resources. However, if you are signed in, you will be able to search all available resources.

Sign in

As a guest your e-Shelf and language settings are only saved for the current browser session.

Important: Sign out after finishing your session to protect your e-Shelf and your account from being used by others.
Sign out


My Account

In "My Account" you can view your loans and requests as well as your reminders, fees and messages. "Personal Settings" allows you to change e.g. your address.

My Account


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Using resources (online) and requesting (loan, copies)

Access to the document and more information is provided via tabs:

Online resource


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Tab "Online access"

Via the "Online access" tab you can get to the electronic resource either via SFX-window (see example) or directly.



Tab "Locations & Request"

For a request select a library in the tab "Locations & Request":


Then click on the preferred request option:

Location request

For a loan select the pickup location and click on "loan". Your request is then processed.


To request copies fill in the form:



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Tab "Details"

The tab "Details" provides more information about the document.

Tab details


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Mark titles in the result page in order to manage them in the e-Shelf:


Sign into the Knowledge Portal in order to permanently save the marked titles and organise them in folders.

As a guest the titles in the e-Shelf are only saved for the current browser session.

e-Shelf ordner

"Add page to e-Shelf" allows you to save all titles of a result page in the e-Shelf.

e-self add page
Important: Use the e-Shelf functionality of the Knowledge Portal only within the ETH Zurich network and outside the networks of Zentralbibliothek and University of Zurich.

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Save queries

If you have signed into the Knowledge Portal, you can save queries.

Save query

You can access your saved queries in the e-Shelf in the "Queries" tab and run them again from there.

Search query


Language settings

If you have signed into the Knowledge Portal, the selected language will be saved.

Any questions?

Contact us.

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