Searching just got easier – new and improved Primo now live

Primo, the gateway to The University of Aberdeen’s printed and digital materials, including the holidings in our archives and the objects in our museum collections, has been re-launched today with a new look and feel designed to make the experience of finding the materials you need that little bit easier.


Starting with a complete redesign of the Primo homepage, Library staff have worked hard to simplify the interface.

primo tabs

There is a similar tabbed structure as before, with each tab allowing you to search across a different range of material types, and we have renamed the tabs to more accurately reflect just what it is that each of them will allow you to search across.

And the infographic now included explains just what range of materials each tab will be searching across.

primo infographic

The homepage also encourages you to login whenever you are searching in Primo, so as to improve your experience of linking out to electronic resources and also to allow you to manage those items which you do already have out on loan.

But it is not only the appearance of Primo which has been improved, we have also redesigned what is going on under the bonnet, with more searching options now available from the Advanced Search screen.

In addition to the Title, Author and Subject searches previously available, you can now also search by a Creation Date, or across a broad Date Range, as well as by Shelfmark or the ISBN or ISSN, if you know it. For those who don’t know, ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number, the identifying code for each particular book published anywhere in the world. Look at the back of any book and you will find it. ISSN is the equivalent number, but for Serials (journals).

The icons included in the infographic also feature in the results list, to help you more easily identify the types of materials included in your results.

primo results

The many filtering and refining features available from the results lists will be familiar to those who have used Primo before but we have cleaned up how they look, again making it easier to get to the most suitable materials for yourself.

One new feature of the results list worth mentioning is that, previously, when you were searching for journal articles your results would automatically include articles not available in full-text, often causing disappointment and frustration at not being able to access something that caught your attention.

primo expand

Well, when searching now for journal articles the initial results only contain those items which we do have in full-text, and there is now the option to expand your results to include those items which we as a Library do not have full-text access to, should you so want to.

One important aspect to remember, though, is that to access many of our electronic resources you need to do so directly from within many of the databases we subscribe to. That unfortunate limitation of Primo still exists, so there is still a clear link at the top of the screen to help link you out to particular databases.

primo top

From this top banner you can also link to an A-Z list of electronic journals and to the Help screens for Primo.

This has only been a quick introduction to some of the useful changes Library staff have made to Primo over the course of the summer, so we encourage you to go and try it out for yourselves, and also to contact us if you have any thoughts or comments on the redesign. More information on help and guidance available for getting the best out of Primo will be following soon as the new academic year fast approaches.

Contact us on:


twitter: @aberdeenunilib



Ewan Grant,

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