Primo Information and Help Page

Primo is a tool that searches hundreds of millions of scholarly resources with a single search. Features such as faceted navigation, “Did you mean?,” and personal settings by discipline help focus on the most relevant content, and links to full-text provide easy access to content.

About Primo

Primo is a tool that searches hundreds of millions of scholarly resources with a single search. Features such as faceted navigation, “Did you mean?,” and personal settings by discipline help focus on the most relevant content, and links to full-text provide easy access to content.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Primo?

Primo is a search tool for the discovery and delivery of a wide variety of scholarly resources via a single search interface. Local and remote resources including books, journal articles, conference literature, technical reports and other digital and print content are indexed.

Primo includes the LANL Research Library's Catalog, databases such as Web of Science (1989- ), GeoRef, ProQuest, PubMed, SciTech Connect, DTIC, institutional repositories, and data directly from publishers.

Discover material in Primo with the use of:

  • Basic search box, which indexes Title, Subject, Author, etc., and in some cases full-text
  • Advanced Search with Boolean operators and limits for more precise results
  • Refine My results to narrow large result sets
  • Virtual Browse for print books to see what's on the shelf nearby
  • "Recommendations" links to related articles
  • "Citations" and "Cited by" (available for many journal articles)

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Search Scopes

Search Scopes enable you to focus your search on library-specific or all material. You can select a Search Scope using the pull-down menu to the right of the basic search box, or the Search Scopes limit on Advanced Search. The default search scope is All.

Scope Name
All (default)
Searches the Library Catalog AND Articles Plus
Articles Plus
Searches Articles Plus (a cloud service - see below)
Library Catalog
Searches the Library Catalog with the Primo interface

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What is Articles Plus?

Articles plus is a mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources of global and regional importance. These include journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators, and from open-access repositories. Provided as a cloud service, the Articles Plus index is integrated as part of the LANL Research Library’s information environment. While not all of the Articles Plus content is available online for downloading by LANL researchers due to subscription limitations, the Articles Plus Index provides easy identification and discovery of scholarly worldwide resources in a variety of languages that may be relevant for specific research interests.

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Basic Search

Basic Search is a Google-like single box search method that finds the search term(s) that you enter. The matching is based on a variety of metadata fields in bibliographic records. Additionally, your search term(s) may actually match the full-text of the resource(s) described in the results. To begin searching, type one or more words and click the Search Button button. HINTS:

  • Primo assumes that you are searching for ALL the words you type (default Boolean operator AND).
  • Not all of your search terms may be highlighted in the results because matches are from more than just the fields displayed on Results screen.
  • If you do not see your search terms highlighted in either the Results of the Details view of a specific resource the search term(s) may come from the full-text of the resource.
  • To search for a phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase. You can combine both words and phrases in your search.
  • Use the single-character (?) or multiple-character (*) truncation/wildcard symbols to increase results.
  • Primo DOES NOT automatically stem search terms. For example, the search term "nanotube" does not retrieve "nanotubes."

Search Queries

Initial Results
single-walled carbon nanotubes
47,190+ results for Catalog and Articles Plus
"single-walled carbon nanotubes"
37,100+ results for Catalog and Articles Plus
single-walled carbon nanotube
38,390+ results for Catalog and Articles Plus
single-walled carbon nanotub*
36,550+ results for Catalog and Articles Plus


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How do I use Boolean Operators?

When multiple terms are entered without Boolean operators, AND is assumed.

Be sure to use ALL CAPS for the Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). When these words are not in all caps, they are treated as search terms like any other words in your query.

You can combine terms and/or phrases with specific logic and order by using the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT.

AND narrows search to results where all terms exist     green AND chemistry

OR broadens search to results that include at least one of the terms   insurgency OR counterinsurgency

NOT narrows by excluding results where the term exists     nanotubes NOT carbon

Boolean operators can be used within a given box.

Primo now supports the use of Boolean operators between search boxes.

For complex Boolean queries, the order of Boolean operations can be specified by using parentheses ().

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Using Wildcards

Use the ? (question mark) to perform a single character wildcard search. The ? can be used within or at the end of the search string.

stabili?ation retrieves stabilisation, stabilization

Use the * (asterisk) to perform a multiple character wildcard search. The * can be used within or at the end of the search string.

polymer* retrieves polymer, polymerase, polymerases, polymerisation, polymers, etc.

Wildcards can also be used in combination in a given search string.

In an Author search:

gon*e?   retrieves   goncalves, gonsales, gonsalves, gonset, gonzales, gonzalez

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My Account

My Account enables you to view the contents of your library account and perform library services, such as renewing a book or canceling a request. In addition, it lets you define your personal Primo settings. To access My Account, click the My Account link, which appears at the top of each page in Primo.

Personal Settings

Set your preference for the Number of Results per Page. You can specify 10, 20, 30, or 50 results (records) per page. Whenever you are signed in, Primo will remember your new default settings. To set your preferences, click the Personal Settings option on the left side of My Account.

To keep your settings for future sessions, you must sign in and save your preferences.

Learn more

Request training by emailing us: Email

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