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Primo VE

How to access a book or ebook

To search for a Book or eBook in the Primo VE discovery platform, you should type the title, author or other keyword associated with the book into the main search box. As you do so, the option appears in a dropdown menu for you to limit your search to Books & eBooks, allowing you to target your searches to retrieve these items only. You can also use the Advanced Search feature or the facets feature to further target your searches by adding additional specifications to your search criteria.

Primo VE will display the book's record information to enable you to locate and access it. If it is a physical book, Primo VE will offer details of its location and availability. If the item is an ebook, a link to the online location of the ebook will be provided. You will need to be signed into your Library Card account in order to view details of your borrowing record.

How to conduct a search on a topic

To conduct a  search on a topic in Primo VE, it is important to start your search by clearly identifying appropriate keywords taken from a research topic or clinical research question. You can isolate the keywords and conduct a search of each or all of your keyword keywords in the main Primo VE search box. You should be able to further narrow your search using the facets or filters that appear to the side of your search results. If you wish, you can use the Advanced search feature to run more targeted searches for material by including additional criteria in your search, i.e. title, author, subject, date, etc. You can also save and view your searches and individual searching by adding them to your Favourites, but comprehensive literature searching should be conducted through RCSI Library's databases, which Primo VE also provides access to.

How to narrow your search to items RCSI Library provides access to

When you complete a search in Primo VE, items accessible through the Library will read as 'Available' in green. Click on this link to gain access to the Library record. This action should connect you with the information needed for either locating the resource or borrowing the book. For the full text online version, click on the link under View Online in the record. For physical items, take note of the detail and consult our services for borrowing print materials. When you conduct searches in Primo VE for books or articles, there should be an option under the facets on the right side of the screen to narrow by 'Availability'. By selecting this feature, you can narrow to items 'Held by Library' in the case of books and  by "Available online" or "Peer-reviewed journals" in the case of articles.

How to use facets in Primo VE to reduce your search results

When you have completed a search on Primo VE discovery platform, you may notice facets on the right side of the database. You can click on one or more of these facets to narrow your Primo VE search further. Facets include Availability, Location, Subject, Resource Type, Author, Date and Library. You can select any one of these facets to apply a limit to your search results.

How to field search to target your searches

You can use a search filter to search within specific fields in Primo VE

Anywhere in the record / Any field: this will search for where your keywords appear anywhere in the record.

Title: If you are aware of the title of the record you are searching for, you can select this field item to complete a search for the word in any of the titles.

Author / Creator: If you know the author of the record you are searching for, you can select this field item to complete a search.

Subject: Resources like books and articles are often assigned a subject, i.e. what topic they cover. 

ISSN: This is the number assigned to a particular journal. If you are aware of this number, you can use this to source a particular journal.

How to search for different materials

The Primo VE discovery platform allows you to search the different type of resources that RCSI Library provides access to in one unified location. You can use it to target by using a Search Profile. Our Search Profiles are listed below.

  1. Everything - To conduct as wide a search as possible across RCSI Library's collection of resources
  2. Books and eBooks - Access, check the borrowing status of, request and renew books and ebooks by narrowing to this content type.
  3. Articles - You can confine your search to articles that have been published in academic journals.
  4. EBSCO - Search for results from EBSCO provided academic databases CINAHL and Health Business Elite
  5. RCSI Repository -  Search the open access repository of research and scholarly output of the RCSI
  6. Antiquarian Books - to search for items that are held in RCSI's heritage collection
  7. Theses - Search for records of theses published by RCSI students.

Key user services in Primo

  1. Click Sign In (top right of the screen) signing into your Primo VE account ensures you have full access of your searches.
    • Your username and password are the same as your RCSI email address ( and password
  2. Check under My Primo VE Account to review your loans, renewals, requests, fees and fines and any messages that RCSI Library may have sent to you.
  3. After conducting some searches, learn how to use the My Favourites function to pin and save your search results.