Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Federal Publication Locator

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Search Help


Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Select a topic below

Searching the database

You can perform a basic search or an advanced search for a bibliographic record using the Federal Publication Locator.

Basic Search

To perform a basic search, select a search index from the drop-down list on the main basic search page. You may choose from the following search indexes:

Enter as found. An AMICUS number search bypasses the Results screen to go directly to the record. Example: 2345678
Any keyword
Enter any significant word in a name, title, subject, note or publisher name. Use with caution. Example: healthy aging
Omit hyphens, price and qualifier (pbk) in the International Standard Book Number. Example: 0838423620
Omit hyphens and slashes in the International Standard Serial Number. Example: 03161196
Name keyword
Enter any significant word in a name. Avoid common words ("canada"). Example: armenian
Gov't Cat. Number
Enter as found. Example: R2-188/2001E
Enter any significant word in the publisher name. Examples: acadia house and porcupine
Subject keyword
Enter any significant word in a subject. Avoid common words ("canada"). Example: individualism
Title keyword
Enter any significant word in a title. Avoid common words ("canada"). Example: illiteracy

Once you have chosen a search index, type your search term in the search entry window. You can search for a word(s), phrase or number. You may use upper or lower case and most search terms do not need punctuation. Click the "Submit" button to complete your search.

Advanced Search

An advanced search for a bibliographic record allows you to search up to three indexes using the Boolean operators "and", "or" and "not".

You can use "AND" to combine two or more search terms. The Federal Publication Locator will retrieve records that have both terms.
Use "OR" between search terms to specify retrieval of documents that have either term.
Use "NOT" between search indexes to specify retrieval of documents that have the first term but not the second.


The Federal Publication Locator also allows you to limit search results by date, format, language and publication type.

To limit your search by date, select an option from the drop-down list and then type the year in the box using the format YYYY (e.g. 2004) for a single year or YYY# (e.g. 199#) for a decade.

To limit your search by language, format, or, publication type, select an option from the selected drop-down list. The default "Any" searches all languages, formats, and, publication types.

Click the "Submit" button to complete your search.

Wildcards: ? (question mark) or # (number sign)

You can broaden your search with two wildcards "?" or "#".

Use the "?" to replace zero or more characters. Never start a term with "?". (e.g. neighb?r)

Use the "#" to replace a single character; multiple "#" replace multiple characters. Never start a term with "#". (e.g. ethiopi#n)


Be precise with your term: healthy aging is more precise than aging.

To search for an exact phrase, use "quotes" to search for the words together rather than as separate words (e.g. "acid rain").

The Search Results

The Federal Publication Locator presents the list of items that your search has retrieved on the Results screen. For each result you see the main author, title (underlined), edition, place of publication, publisher and date. The Locations button appears if the item is held by a Union Catalogue Library.

Sorting the Results

You can sort your search results by:

  • Title (initial articles are ignored in sorting);
  • Name of author (sorts alphabetically by main author of work);
  • Date ascending (oldest works first);
  • Date descending (newest works first).

A blank files before a letter; a letter files before a number.


To see the full record for a particular item, click on the title. If you have only found one item, the full record will display immediately. To view the full text of an electronic publication, click on the hyperlink for that publication located next to the E-LOCATIONS tag.

To select more than one record on your results list, first click the boxes to the left of the desired records and then click the Display Selections button.

If you selected several records, the Federal Publication Locator shows them one by one. Use the Next and Previous buttons to move from one selection to another.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next