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George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Using Primo, the Library catalog, to Find Books & Articles

About the Library's tool for searching print and online collections for books, articles and more.

What to plug in?

You can search Primo the same way that you search most search engines and other online tools.

Type one or more keywords and then click the Search button. The system will automatically look for all terms entered. 

Adding terms will narrow the focus, unless the search is formatted as noted below.

How to search with more control

The following search methods work in Primo:

Gain control of your search by using Boolean connectors. You may use AND or OR or NOT .

  • Connectors must be in Capital letters to be understood. Ex. (pattern OR model) "jury instructions" will find both pattern jury instructions and model jury instructions.
  • Primo assumes user intends AND if no operators are included.   
  • Use parentheses to group terms. Ex. contract (void OR voidable) retrieves contract and void or voidable.

Put quotation marks around words meant to be searched as a phrase. Ex. “state jurisdiction”.

Wildcards can be used to replace a character or find multiple variations of a specified root word:

Use ? for a single character, e.g. wom?n to search for strings woman or women. 

Use * for multiple characters, e.g. liab* would find liable or liability . 

Power Search Tip:

  • Similar concepts are used for power searching Westlaw and Lexis. Both of those search platforms support using and/or/not to define relationships among specified terms.   
  •  "Putting phrases in quotes" is another way to tighten up your search on West & Lexis.
  •  Use an exclamation mark ! at the end of a truncated word on West & Lexis to get all possible endings.