PNC Library Primo Central (beta)
Search -- FAQ
What is Primo Central (beta)?
Primo Central (beta) is a search engine that provides credible, relevance ranked results from the Library's online and print collections in a single search.
It includes everything found in the Library's Catalog, plus a lot of the content available through the Library's databases.
Try searching in Primo Central (beta) when you might otherwise search Google Scholar, the Library Catalog, or a research database like JSTOR. Primo Central (beta) is not intended to entirely replace these other search tools, but we hope that it will be a much-valued addition to your research toolkit.
What's in Primo Central (beta)? What's not in Primo Central (beta)?
Primo Central (beta) includes hundreds of millions of records for books, journal articles, e-books and e-journals, news articles, and much more. It includes everything found in the Library Catalog and eArchives, plus information usually found in research databases.
Primo Central (beta) may include some or all of the databases and journals that you already use. Some databases and journals allow full-text searching, others include only citation information (e.g., title, author, abstract, etc.), but may be accessible from Primo Central (beta) via SFX links.
What sources are included in Primo Central (beta)?
How does Primo Central (beta) compare to the Purdue catalog?
Primo Central (beta) includes everything that is in the Purdue catalog, plus hundreds of millions of scholarly articles and online records provided through the deep-search interface into the Primo Central Index.
What subjects does Primo Central (beta) search?
Most subjects are covered, but the Library's Research Guides also offer recommendations for the best resources for each Purdue academic department.
What is the difference between Everything and Purdue University Collections?
"Everything" is the default search option. Use it to search for books, journal articles, conference proceedings, newspaper articles, etc. Purdue University Collections limits your search to the Library Catalog and eArchives collections.
I can't access the [article, e-book, etc.] in Primo Central (beta)
If you're searching Primo Central (beta) from off-campus, you will need to authenticate as a Purdue user to access online resources. In case you're not prompted automatically, go to our "Connect from Home" page to log in.
I can't find [an article, book, resource] in Primo Central (beta). Where can I find it?
Can't find a book in Primo Central (beta)? Try:
When I do a search in Primo Central (beta), I get many results. How can I refine my search to find exactly what I'm looking for?
· Limiting your search results to "Resource Type: Book" using the facets on the left-hand side of the search results page
· Doing an advanced search in Primo Central (beta)
· Doing a "Title" search in Primo Central (beta)
Can't find an article in Primo Central (beta)? Try:
Using an "exact" search under the search tab to narrow your results. Some articles are not findable in Primo Central (beta) (it does not provide 100% coverage of our journal collection). To do a thorough article search, look up the journal title and determine if the Library subscribes to the journal. Then browse by year/issue to find the right article.
Can't find a journal in Primo Central (beta)? Try:
Clicking on the eJournals link and searching for the title there.
Doesn't look like the Library owns the item?
Make an interlibrary loan request
Searches in Primo Central (beta) often yield an overwhelmingly large number of results. To help find what you're looking for faster, try these search tips.
Use the precise search options in Primo Central (beta):
Try Phrase Searching
Primo Central (beta) allows for phrase searching with the use of " ". The query "teacher education" will find results with that phrase.
Try the Advanced Search
Use the advanced search to search within the title, author, and subject fields. You can also limit your search by publication date, resource type, and language
Refine Your Search Results
Use the "Refine My Results" options on the left-hand side to limit by Resource Type, Subject, Publication Date, Author, Language, and more.
Does Primo Central (beta) include everything in a specific research databases?
Primo Central (beta)'s vendor, ExLibris, works directly with publishers to obtain permissions to index specific journals, newspapers and other serials. Publication data can come from any number of places: direct from the publisher, or from an intermediate database.
For this reason, we don't know exactly what the overlap is between Primo Central (beta)'s content and the content found in specialized research databases. In some cases it might be close to 100%, in others, 50-75%.
How does Primo Central (beta) compare to Google Scholar?
Primo Central (beta) and Google Scholar are both search engines that let you quickly search across a massive index of scholarly information.
How does Primo Central (beta)'s relevance ranking work?
Primo Central (beta) and Google Scholar search different bodies of scholarly content. There is overlap, but there is content findable in Primo Central (beta) but not Google Scholar, and vice-versa. The two search engines perform relevance ranking in very different ways.
Some features unique to Primo Central (beta):
- Results are reflective of the Purdue University collection -- as a library patron, you have access to mostly everything you can find in Primo Central (beta), with the exception of when you choose to "Expand My Results" in your search.
- Find print/physical material in the Library collection -- Primo Central (beta) contains all Purdue Library Catalog records and can be used for finding print material and media in the library.
- Useful search refinements:
- "Limit to articles from peer-review journals"
- "Limit to items in a specific library location (Humanities Library, Physics Library etc.)"
- Select item records to email, print, cite, export to
Some features unique to Google Scholar:
- "Cited by" information -- e.g. "Cited by 402 publications" (Note: Primo Central (beta) does include citation information from Web of Science).
- Google Books content
Primo Central (beta)'s sophisticated relevance ranking algorithm is a 'trade secret' of the software developers at ExLibris, so we are unable to explain exactly how it works. However, it usually gives priority to "exact title" matches on your search keywords.
For instance: a search for "practical grammar" will return items with the exact title "practical grammar" at the top. A search for "the practical grammar" will return almost identical results, but with priority given to titles with "the" in them
How do the facets in the search results work?
Facets appear on the left-hand side of the search results screen and can help you to refine your search results.
It's not clear why an item was returned in my search results?
By clicking on any of the facet values you can limit your search results to only results with these values.
Facets are dynamically generated from the top 200 relevant results. The number for each value is taken from the full set of results.
You can also click the more selections link beneath a set of facets. This will allow you to choose multiple options for inclusion or exclusion within a group of facets.
This is an example of facets:
Primo Central (beta) includes article citation information as well as full-text information. It may be that the search term is matching somewhere in the full-text.
How is peer-reviewed determined in Primo Central (beta)?
Primo Central (beta) uses a list of peer-reviewed journals supplied by SFX (Get It@Purdue North Central Library) to determine what is peer-reviewed.
Will Primo Central (beta) change over time?
The Primo Central (beta) software is relatively new and is expected to change and improve as new features are implemented and new content is added.
Do I need to "Sign in" to search Primo Central (beta)?
Primo Central (beta) is an example of "software as a service." The Library has a license with the vendor ExLibris to provide Primo Central (beta) for the Library's collection. In this sense, it is more similar to the Library's various article databases (e.g. Web of Science) than it is to the Library's Catalog system (a locally-hosted software system that experiences major but infrequent upgrades).
To search Primo Central (beta)'s complete holdings, you will need to "Sign in"
How can I give feedback?
Provide feedback using the "feedback" link at the top of the Primo Central (beta) search page.
LOCATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION:
Library-Student-Faculty (LSF) Building; Second Floor; Phone: (219) 785-5248; Fax: (219) 785-5501; e-mail problems to firstname.lastname@example.org