Refine search

When a results list from your current search is displayed, the Refine search option allows you to further define your search using a number of criteria (also called facets): Availability, Document type, Language, Subject, and so on. You only have to click on one or more of these criteria and your original list will be changed and narrowed down.


Results list.

Original request, Advanced search:

All: polish people canad*

  1. The original request generated a results list about Polish people in Canada and the Refine search option appears to the left of the list.
  2. In this example, the Refine search option is used with Availability: Available and Language: English.
  3. The initial results are searched (and not the entire catalogue) for items that correspond to the new parameters. You will obtain a new, more refined, list of results, containing fewer items than the original request.
  4. In the new list, only bibliographic entries with at least one available copy will be kept and the material will be in English.

Cancel criteria

You can cancel selected criteria to refine your search by clicking on the Minus. symbol in the current search term field (above the results list). In this instance, clicking on Minus. in front of English will allow the French items that were excluded from the initial list to be retrieved.

Advances search, cancel criteria.


To change the original request, as well as its limiting criteria, you use the Edit button. When you click on Edit, the search screen with the request will be displayed (as well as the limiting criteria you applied, if there are any). However, the criteria you selected to refine the search are not taken into consideration because this option only applies to a list of results, and not to the request.


Idée.How to make the most of the Refine search option

Do you only want a list of items you can borrow?
If you click on the criterion Availability: Available, your list of results will only display descriptions of items for which at least one copy is available at the time you do the search.

Do you want to borrow or reserve (if there are no copies available)?
If you wish to reserve an item that is not available (for example, a new title that is in high demand, a popular movie or any other item where all the copies have already been borrowed by other users), do not use the criterion Availability: Available, because items that are not available will be excluded from your list (but you can reserve them).

Do you only want items that can be consulted remotely, on the Web? Click on the criterion Availability: Online.
You can also use the criterion Document type: Electronic resources, or: e-Books.

Do you want to improve your search results by entering a more exact subject?
From the terms suggested under the Subject criterion, click on the one that seems best to you. Remember that the Refine search option will always reduce the number of items retrieved, because the search is being carried out based on the preceding list of search results.

Do you want to modify a search and apply it to the entire catalogue, rather than refine the results you have already obtained?

  1. Look at the choice available under the Subject criterion. You might notice new terms that are relevant to your search and were not included in your initial search request.
  2. Click on the Edit button and rephrase your request; use the new terms you found within the Subject index.

Our partners

Catalogue des bibliothèques du Québec. RFN. RDAQ. Les Amis de BAnQ. Fondation de BAnQ. Ville de Montréal.