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Primo, the discovery system, provides a single simple entry point for searching UND's Library resources.


What is Primo?

Primo searches the Library's catalog, many general and subject databases and publisher's online journal collections that campus libraries subscribe to and many valuable research collections that are available on the internet.

When should you use Primo?

  • When you don't know where to start
  • When your topic is multidisciplinary
  • When you want to find many different kinds of resources

Primo Fast Facts

Does Primo replace ODIN, the Library catalog?

Since Primo is primarily a “discovery layer” it relies on ODIN as one of the sources for full bibliographic records. Primo doesn’t actually replace ODIN, since ODIN operates underneath the surface.

How does Primo compare to Google Scholar?

Primo and Google Scholar are both search engines that let you quickly search across a massive index of scholarly information. They both search different bodies of scholarly content. There is overlap, but there is content findable in Primo that is not in Google Scholar, and vice-versa. The two search engines perform relevance ranking in very different ways.

Does Primo include everything in a specific research databases?

Primo’s vendor, ExLibris, works directly with publishers to obtain permissions to index specific online 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’s content and the content found in specialized research databases. In some cases it might be close to 100%, in others, 50-75%.

How do facets work?

Facets appear on the left-hand side of the search results screen and can help you to refine your search results. Clicking on a facet limits your search results to only results with that value. Facets are dynamically generated from the top 200 relevant results. The number for each value is taken from the full set of results. See the Refine your Search results tab on this Guide.

I can’t find an [article, ebook etc.] in Primo. Where can I find it?

Can’t find a book in Primo? Try:

  • Use the facets on the left to limiting your results to “Resource Type: Book”.
  • Try a “Title” search.
  • Or do an advanced search.

Can’t find an article in Primo? Try:

  • Using an “exact” search under the Articles tab to narrow your results.
  • To do a thorough search:
    1. Look up the journal title
    2. Use the Journal Titles search to see if we have that journal.
    3. If we do, browse by year/issue to find the right article.

Some articles are not findable in Primo (it does not provide 100% coverage of our databases and journal collection). In these cases, the articles should be accessible using the thorough search method outlined above.

Do I need to log in from off-campus?

If you want to use the E-Shelf feature or get into full text you will want to log in.

What is the e-shelf?

It allows you to save search results and queries and allows you to set up personal preferences to tailor results to your areas of interest. See the “Using the E-Shelf “ tab on this guide.

What is personalized ranking?

Personalized ranking is an optional feature in Primo. You must sign into Primo to use this feature. Every time you sign in this box will pop up unless you choose to personalize your results or click on the link “I’m not interested; don’t show this message again.” If you change your mind later you can find this option under My Account > Personal Settings.

Personalized ranking tells the Primo software a little bit about yourself so that it can adjust the relevancy ranking of article searching results. For example if you do a search on “depression” and you are a nursing student it should prefer nursing articles over psychology articles.

How does relevancy ranking work?

Primo’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.

How do I Export my results to RefWorks?

Open your RefWorks account. To export one item to RefWorks, click on the “details” view. Mouse over the words “send to” and a drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the item information record will appear. Select “Add to RefWorks”.

If you are exporting several items, add the items to your e-shelf. Go to your e-shelf, check off the items using the check boxes, and click “Add to RefWorks”. You will need a RefWorks account in order to do this.

Welcome to PRIMO -- New CF Library Search Box 10 min. You may need to enable a browser plug-in. Call for Tech support at 701-777-6305.

Advanced Search is now available to the right of the search box after a basic search.

What do the tabs search?

Everything - searches the Chester Fritz Library's print and online books, online journals and online reference sources.

Books+ - searches all UND libraries' catalogs - books, videos, government documents & journal titles in print.

Articles - searches online journal, magazine and newspaper articles, reviews, and conference proceedings available through many of the library's electronic subscriptions.

Digital Archives - searches through some of our Special Collections archival materials that have been digitized, such as political cartoons, news columns, the UND Writers Conference, and UND pottery, sports, and other photos.

What does Primo search?

Reference and Research Services, Chester Fritz Library

Reference Research Services

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