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Search@UW Guide: Interface Upgrade

An overview of the new search system

General Information

What's going on?

The entire Search@UW discovery layer has undergone a front-end overhaul of the User Interface. This is the first such revision of the product by our vendor (Ex Libris).

What is different?

There are changes to the result lists, service tabs, actions, search refinements, and eShelf (now "Favorites").

Improvements have also been made to the Advanced Search screen, the handling of Boolean Operators, and the Recommendation engine.

For the benefit of patrons traveling around the state, the new site also displays holdings locations within the UW Library System. Please note that the UW Borrowing process still works the same; the selection of the lending campus is made automatically.

The overall design has also been revamped with a more modern and mobile-friendly look. It also now supports secure connections via HTTPS.

When will the upgrade happen?

A public preview of the new site was made available in October 2016. Our links to the legacy site were switched to point to the new interface at the end of May 2017.

Check Out the New Search@UW


[Advanced Search]

Key Changes

  • The drop down menu to choose a subset of resources to search (books, articles, etc.) no longer appears on the homepage. This is a deliberate change to promote a more efficient searching method: first do an everything search, then further limit your results--if necessary. The Advanced Search also provides this functionality.
  • Citation Linker is now included in the main search. Simply enter the title of the book, article, or periodical in the search box. Searching by DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is also supported.
  • The upgraded version of the Find Journals feature is now available. However, this function is also available via the main search box (you can refine results by Resource Type, as needed).
  • Personalization features were added to the new interface in mid-September.

Known Issues

There are new ways that the system displays information. For example:

  • "Use Get It To Request" appears on results with multiple versions. One of those versions may be a local copy which is immediately available.
  • "Online access" links for e-journals at times lead to one of many link destinations. Additional coverage may be available via another link within the full item record.

We also have open support tickets with our vendor on various display oddities.


You may use Ask a Librarian to send questions about the new site.

Please be aware that we have minimal resources to spend on customizing a rapidly-evolving system, and that many modifications must be done at the state (University of Wisconsin System) level. Our priority will be in addressing configuration choices which fix broken functionality, before considering design adjustments that have clear evidence they will improve usability for most of our patrons.