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Search methods & techniques: Use sEURch

What is sEURch?

sEURch is the library's own search engine. A search in sEURch returns journal articles, books, book chapters, journals, etc. You search the collections of the libraries of Erasmus University Rotterdam: the University Library, the library of the ISS in The Hague, the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet, the library of Erasmus University College and the Sanders Law Library. In sEURch, you also search the collections of libraries in the Netherlands and libraries worldwide.

Using sEURch

sEURch is going to be the gateway to many of your research projects. Using all of the various functions available will help you to search both more efficiently and effectively which will ultimately save you time. Here, we list some of the functions that can be found in sEURch.

Full text only and peer reviewed articles

Not everything that you find in sEURch is going to be available as a digital resource, but if you are only looking for materials that are available digitally, sEURch can help you. Scroll down to the “Show only” menu and click on the “Full text” box. Now all you should see are digital resources, and to access them simply click on either the “View eBook” or “View full text” buttons depending on if it is a book or article.


In the same menu you will also see the box called “Peer reviewed.” By clicking on this, you will limit the results only to peer reviewed materials, which will be important since many assignments will require that you only use peer reviewed materials. After clicking it, you will see that a small orange peer reviewed symbol will appear underneath all the items in your search.



Choosing books or articles

To help narrow what you are looking for, you can also choose the type of materials you are seeing in your search results. If you are only looking for articles, you can select articles, and if you only want articles available to download, simply select “Downloadable Article.” To only see books, select book, or choose from one of the many options such as “Print books,” “eBooks,” or “Thesis, Dissertation.”



Selecting materials available at the EUR

If you are looking for physical books and materials, and you only want ones available at the EUR, under the section titled “Held By Library” click on the “Erasmus University Rotterdam” or further narrow down your selection by choosing one of the EUR’s specific libraries like the University Library, ISS the Hague, or the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet.


Find a journal article in sEURch

There are times when you already know the article or book that you are looking for, either because you have done some initial searching, or your lecturers may have given you a list of relevant or required reading materials.

sEURch, to look for journal articles, books, and other resources. To find them, go to the library's homepagetype some words from the title and the author's surname into the search box, and click on the magnifying glass to start the search. You can use the refine option on the left to limit the results to articles only or books only. If the article or book appears in the result list, you can often access the full text by clicking on the orange View PDF or View full text button.

Watch the video How to find a journal article in sEURch (1:02) to see an example of finding a journal article in our search engine sEURch.


One of the most important parts of doing research is keeping track of your references. By using sEURch, you can easily get the citation for articles or books.

In any article or book that appears in sEURch, there will be an orange box in the top right that says “Cite.” Clicking on this bring up another menu.



Here, you can click on the dropdown box called, “Select a citation style”, and you can choose from one of the many styles available depending on what you are required to use for your research.



Now you have the citation in the style you wanted, which you can copy and paste. Or, if you are using RefWorks, simply click “Export to RefWorks.” However, you should always double check the citations provided by sEURch as the information is not always accurate or complete. It is best to do this by looking in the article or book itself to make sure that all of the information matches.


Using advanced search

Much like many search engines, sEURch also has an advanced search option to help you narrow down exactly what you are looking for. Here, we will give you a brief overview of some, but certainly not all, of the features you can find in the advanced search. You can access this by simply clicking on “Advanced search” under the search bar on the main University Library website.



Changing the search index parameters

While this might sound technical, it really is not. By changing the search index parameters, all that you are doing is altering what sEURch is meant to look for. If you open the dropdown menu, you see that there are a number of different variables to choose from such as searching by author, the ISBN or number that identifies individual books, to keywords, and searching for specific words in the title. This can then be combined with using the Boolean operators which we will look at next.



Boolean operators

If you have been working through this guide, you will have already come across Boolean operators, and if not go back and read about them under the section “Search techniques.” You can also use Boolean operators in the Advanced Search by switching between AND, OR, and NOT through the dropdown menus. This can help to further refine or expand your search depending on which operators you choose in which combinations.



Search tools

Much like in the regular version of sEURch, you can also select to only show peer reviewed articles, you can search by publication year, and you can narrow the results to only materials held by the Erasmus University Rotterdam or one of the specific libraries such as the University Library or the ISS library. This can all be found under the "Search tools" heading.


Use sEURch to look for literature by subject

In addition to tracing books and journal articles that you have references for, sEURch is ideal for discovering articles on a topic. Especially when it is a preliminary search and you have just started to explore a particular topic.

An advantage of sEURch is that you can search a large number of databases all at once. A disadvantage is that the number of results may be too high. You can avoid this by thinking of good keywords and combining these in your search. You can also use the filters to refine your search result and reduce the number of hits.

Watch the video Use sEURch to look for literature by subject (1:53) to see an example of searching and refining.

Not in our library. Where else can you find it?

If a book or journal article is not in the collection of the EUR University Library, there are a few options: 

  • You can order it from another library in the Netherlands or abroad. This is called Interlibrary Loan, or ILL. Have you found a book or article in sEURch that one of the EUR libraries does not have in its collection? Then use the "Request item through interlibrary loan" button to request it from another library. Read more about ILL (including the costs) on our library website.
  • Search Google Books. With Google Books you can search the full text of books, you can read entire books if they are free of copyright and you might find more recent books (with copyright) which are partially available.
  • Check the EUR & Erasmus MC Research Information Portal ( or the Netherlands Research Portal ( The EUR & Erasmus MC Research Information Portal provides access to the academic output of the Erasmus University and makes it available to everyone. The Netherlands Research Portal covers the publications, datasets and projects of research institutes in The Netherlands. A single search query lets you consult the repositories of Dutch universities in one go.