Search tips

How to optimise your search query

Boolean operators

For the search, "Boolean operators" can be used, which must always be written in capital letters:

AND When searching for church AND Italy, hits are shown that contain these two words.
OR When searching for trousers OR jeans, one or both of these words may appear. This is suitable for searches with synonyms or different languages.
AND NOT When searching for architecture AND NOT passive house, the second term is excluded.

If no operators are used in the TIB Portal, the terms are automatically linked with AND.
Attention: From the fourth term onwards, this term and the following terms are linked with OR.

Phrase search

In the normal search, the words entered are searched for without taking the order into account. If you are looking for a fixed term consisting of several words or a title, it is therefore worthwhile to use the so-called phrase search. To do this, the phrase is placed in double inverted commas. The phrase is then treated by the search as a single word.

Example: The search for silver catalysis also returns hits such as "catalysis" by John Silver.

The search for "silver catalysis" does not return this hit. Instead, only hits such as "The history of silver catalysis" are found.

Attention: Phrase searches severely limit the number of hits. A title called "The catalysis of silver" will also not be found, although it would probably be relevant.
The phrase search also deactivates the synonym search.


You can use wildcard operators to search for words with 'variables'.

You can place a wildcard in the middle or at the end of a search term. You cannot place a wildcard at the beginning of a search term.

You can use the following wildcard operators to replace characters in search terms:

* Replaces any number of characters.
Example: Gebrauch* finds Gebrauch, gebraucht, Gebrauchsmustergesetz; Publi*ation finds Publication and Publikation.
? Replaces one character.
Example: Gebrauch? finds gebraucht, but not Gebrauchsmustergesetz or gebraucherfreundlich.

You can combine wildcards in a search term. Example: mikro*p* finds microcomputer, microscope, microprocessor, etc.; mikro?p* finds microsphere, microoptics, etc.

The use of wildcards overrides the automatic synonym search, so that hit quantities can be smaller when using wildcards than when searching without wildcard use (example publication/publi*ation).