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Search for literature

Find access to our e-resources, search guides, and help if you have trouble accessing literature.

Searching for academic literature can be time-consuming. The search becomes more efficient when you use various search techniques and know which sources are available.

Be as clear as possible about what you are looking for before you start searching. Write down relevant search terms and find synonyms. Use your curriculum, dictionaries, and encyclopedias to quickly get an overview of the topic and to find precise search terms.

Search techniques


By truncating, you search for the stem of a word to include various endings of the word. The truncation symbol is usually an asterisk (*). For example, math* will yield results for mathematics, mathematical, mathematician etc.

Phrase search

If you search for a term consisting of multiple words, such as higher education, you can enclose the phrase in quotation marks: "higher education". This way, you search for the exact phrase "higher education" and not higher and education as separate words.

Boolean operatorer: AND, OR and NOT

In most databases, you can combine search terms in three different ways: with AND, OR, and NOT. This is called searching with Boolean operators.



When two search terms are combined with AND, you will only get hits for literature in which both terms are used in the reference. Combinations with AND targets the search, and limits the number of hits.

Example: A search for Diabetes AND "Quality of life" only results in literature in which both the terms diabetes and quality of life are used.



When you combine two search terms with OR, the search engine will retrieve hits for literature in which either or both search terms are used. Combinations with OR broaden the search and increase your number of hits. OR is used between synonymous or related search terms.

Example: A search for Diabetes OR Hyperglycemia gives hits for documents containing either diabetes, or hyperglycemia, or both.



When you combine two keywords with NOT, you will get hits for documents in which the first search term is used, while the search will omit documents in which the second search term is used. Use the operator with caution, as combinations with NOT can potentially exclude relevant documents.

Example: A search for Diabetes NOT Geriatrics will result in literature in which the term diabetes is used, but the search will omit all literature that uses the term geriatrics.


The text is from the Search and Write, developed by Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, University of Bergen, and University of Oslo. You can learn more about search techniques, how to plan a search, and how to search systematically on their website.

Short search guides

Select the sources you want to find

Books Articles Student theses Movies Encyclopedias and dictionaries News papers
Printed books
You can search for a book title, an author, a subcjet or a ISBN-number in Oria.


Available at University of South-Eastern Norway shows which of our campus libraries own the book, if it is available, and where it is located.

Write down the number and letters displayed in Oria, and find the correct shelf in the library. You will see that the book is marked with the number and letters you saw in Oria.

Screen shot from OriaScreen shot from Oria


Video: How to find a book in the library.


If the book is checked out or available at another library, you can place an order for it or join a waiting list.


In Oria, you can search for a book title, a subject, or a ISBN number.


To the right of the search results list, you can select e-books under Resource Type. Click on the book title or Available online to open the e-book.


If you are off-campus, log in with Feide (your USN username and password) to access the e-book. Some e-books can only be read online, while others can also be downloaded and saved as files to your own device. Certain e-books may require you to create a personal account (this is usually free) in order to download or print them. Read the information in Oria to understand the access options available for each e-book.

Find articles in databases

It's typically in the library's databases where you should search for articles within your own field of study. Here, you generally need to use English keywords, and it can be helpful to use advanced search with the various search techniques shown above.


You can learn more about how to search within the specific databases inside each respective database. Feel free to ask at the library if you need assistance.

Find articles in Oria

In Oria, you can search for an article title, author, or subject.


To the right of the search results list, you can narrow down to articles under Resource Type. If you get many results, you can further refine them by selecting year, journal, subject, etc. Click on the article title or Available online to read the article. Follow the link(s) under View it.

Screenshot from Oria showing an article

Too many results?

Perhaps you need to narrow down your search even further? You can also refine your results by subject, year, language, source, etc.

No results or few results?

In Oria, you can expand your search to include articles that USN does not have access to by checking the box Include material your institution doesn't have access to in the right-hand menu of Oria. The library can assist in obtaining articles that we do not have access to.

Student theses (phd, master, bachelor)

Many doctoral dissertations and master's and bachelor's theses are available in full-text in open institutional repositories. Please note that some older student papers, especially at the bachelor's level, are only available in printed form (these can be found by searching in Oria).


At USN, you can find doctoral dissertations and several master's and bachelor's theses available in full-text PDF format in our institutional repository: USN Open Archive.


To find printed student papers, you need to search by title or subject in Oria. You can narrow down the results to, for example, student papers or master's theses.


In Oria, you can also search for student papers from other Norwegian universities and colleges by searching in Norwegian Academic Libraries. You will also find more student papers in full-text by searching in Google Scholar.


Filmrommet contains films from the Norwegian and international film heritage and is Norway's largest film service for schools. The responsible distributor is Norgesfilm AS.


USN has a subscription that allows the use of these films for teaching purposes at the university. Instructors at USN can contact the library's e-resource group for password to access Filmrommet.


It is not permitted to share the password with students. The film can be shown to students during a Zoom session or in a classroom setting, but students cannot view the films individually from home.


Filmbib offers short films and documentaries from recent times, as well as films from earlier periods. It provides content for both children and adults, including animated films, experimental films, and humorous short stories. You can also find historically interesting and socially relevant documentaries.


Filmbib is managed by the Norwegian Film Institute and is affiliated with public libraries' streaming services. You access it using a national library card, logging in with your library card number and PIN code. Contact your public library for assistance.


Filmoteket offers everything from Norwegian, Nordic, European, and international titles, including classics, films based on books, Oscar winners, and so-called blockbusters to narrower films in the arthouse/independent category. The films are selected by Filmoteket's editorial team in collaboration with libraries.


This is a streaming service connected to a national library card linked to a public library. See the list of libraries with access and contact your local public library for any questions.

Encyclopedias and dictionaries

Reference works such as encyclopedias and dictionaries provide a quick starting point for further information searches, whether you need to define words and expressions or check factual information. Here we have gathered reference works that the University Library subscribes to, in addition to useful open resources on the internet. You can also find printed reference works in your campus library.


Store norske leksikon
Free Norwegian online encyclopedia from Kunnskapsforlaget. SNL is updated by both a professional editorial team and users of the encyclopedia. It includes Store Medisinske Leksikon (Medical Encyclopedia) and Norsk Biografisk Leksikon (Norwegian Biographical Encyclopedia). 

Encyclopedia Britannica online
Requires login off-campus. Full version of the world's largest encyclopedia. Searches information across encyclopedias, journals, films, and the internet.
Free encyclopedia available in over 200 languages, built by contributions from volunteers worldwide. Should be read with critical scrutiny of sources.

Requires login off-campus. Provides access to 47 electronic dictionaries including legal and medical dictionaries.

Bokmålsordboka og Nynorskordboka
Originally developed by the Lexicography Department at the University of Oslo. Currently developed by the University of Bergen in collaboration with the Language Council. These are free resources.

NAOB – Det Norske Akademis ordbok
Continuously updated digital dictionary, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture. Focuses on Bokmål and Riksmål from the early 1800s to today, covering meanings, new words, idioms, expressions, usage, collocations, spelling, word class, inflection, pronunciation, and word history. Includes literary quotes demonstrating the actual use of words in Norwegian literature.

Dictionaries in multiple languages, designed for immigrants in Norway, the first online dictionaries created specifically for minority languages in Norway.

Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid
Latin dictionary.
Dictionary and encyclopedia with definitions, pronunciation, and etymology. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Online English dictionary and encyclopedia; includes definitions, examples, pronunciation, and etymological fun facts.

ATEKST (Retriever)

ATEKST is a media archive from Retriever, containing more than 3.8 million articles from over 1300 Norwegian newspapers, magazines, and news agencies. You can also view original articles from print newspapers. Please note that there is at least a 48-hour delay on new articles.

The National Library's newspaper collection

In the National Library's newspaper collection (only in Norwegian), you will find historical newspapers dating back to the 1760s. Most of these are freely accessible for users in Norway, with additional access available from library premises.


To gain extended access to the newspaper search, you need to contact your campus library or public library where you reside. Please note that you cannot access this from home.