Looking for something specific? Use our search engine!

Search, find and use

Search, find and use

Sometimes a couple of minutes of searching is all you need. Though more often that not your task at hand will require more thorough searching. Here’s some tips get you started.

New to the library?

  • Get a library card, you’ll need one
  • Discover Alma, the library’s most important search portal
  • Libguides is at your service 24/7
  • Keep an eye out for our courses or book a one-to-one session


Alma is a search portal for Åbo Akademi University Library and Archive Collections. Use Alma to find among other things both printed and electronic books and journals as well as e-articles. For simple yet effective ways to search Alma as a pro, check the Alma Help Pages.


Your one stop shop for library information. Libguides holds tailor-made resource and information retrieval guides for students and staff of Åbo Akademi University and Novia University of Applied Sciences. For finding journals and databases as well as support for reference management

Where should I search?

I’m writing a shorter piece such as an essay

Take a couple of minutes to identify search terms – e.g. concepts and theoretical/technical terms – about your topic. Your research question is often the quickest way to finding suitable search terms. Think of synonyms and alternative spellings. Restate your research question to help you identify search terms.

  • Use Alma to search in the library’s collections and to access electronic resources
  • Libguides helps you find essential journals
  • Search e-articles in the Alma search tab E-articles
  • Look up subject headings in e.g. LCSH and Allfo (Finnish material)

I’m starting my thesis

If you want to make a thorough literature search, then it’s advisable to also search databases relating to your subject besides only using Alma. This way you can perform searches that are more comprehensive.

  • Find databases in Libguides or Databases A-Z in Alma
  • Meticulously go through interesting articles’ bibliographies to discover other useful and valuable articles
  • Get inspired – or seek peer support – by findings in the database Base, which indexes a lot of theses
  • Check what the other university libraries in Finland have by searching Melinda
  • Are you writing your master’s thesis? Congratulations, you’re entitled to free interlibrary loans from anywhere in the world!

Off-campus access

Students and staff of Åbo Akademi University and Novia University of Applied Sciences are able to access their respective e-resources on and off campus. You’ll be prompted for your university credentials when accessing licensed material off-campus. Be sure you’re using the correct version of Alma: Alma ÅAU | Alma Novia.

Isn’t Google sufficient?

We don’t recommend using standard Google. You can, however, try using Google Scholar, which is an ”academic” version of Google. To access the library’s licenced e-articles (fulltext articles) via Google Scholar, set “Abo Akademi University Library – ÅAU Fulltext” as your library in library links in Google Scholar (activated by default when using the campus network).

So many references – help me!

Reference managers such as Zotero help you keep track of all mischievous references. They will also help you produce tidy and spot-on citations and bibliographies in the paper you’re writing. Check our reference management guide to get you started.

Updated 8.8.2022