Search Help and Troubleshooting

Help topics and troubleshooting information for our search tool.

If you don’t see your answer here, please contact us. You can also give us feedback on search.

We also provide specialized expertise for your research needs. Get research help


Access resources off-campus

You will be asked to log-in with your CougarNet when trying to access materials off-campus.

Use the Off-Campus Bookmark to log-in with your CougarNet and seamlessly access Libraries content.


Loading issues with search

Search sometimes has loading issues. You may see a never-ending diamond loading prompt.

The recommended solution is to clear your browser cookies and/or cache.

Steps to clear data on each of the leading browsers:

If clearing your browser cache or cookies doesn’t help, please contact us.

The diamond loading prompt, with 3 diamonds growing and shrinking to show that something is being loaded
If you see this diamond loading prompt that lasts forever, we recommend clearing your browser cache and cookies

Searching the catalog for books and more

Our catalog includes all holdings owned by the library, including:

  • Physical library books
  • E-books
  • Blu-ray, DVD, and other video
  • CDs and other audio

Search UH Libraries catalogs

Search each library catalog directly:

Search all UH System catalogs at once

By default, our search engine searches the 3 largest UH system universities: UH, UH-Clear Lake, and UH-Downtown.

  1. Use library search with keywords, titles, author names, and more
  2. A list of search results will load
  3. Locate the left-hand drop-down menu on the search bar
  4. Select “Library Catalog” from the options
  5. Select the magnifying glass to search again
  6. A list of only catalog results will load
  7. These results are for the catalogs of UH, UH-Clear Lake, and UH-Downtown

Search for books and e-books

Catalogs usually include non-book items, like DVDs or CDs

To limit your results to just books, both physical and digital:

  1. Use library search with keywords, titles, author names, and more
  2. A list of search results will load
  3. Locate the Resource Type filter to the left of the results
  4. If there are physical books in your search results, “Books” will appear as an option within that filter. Select “Books”
  5. Your results will filter to only include books, both physical and digital

Follow these same steps to filter any other resource type (e-books, dissertations, videos, etc.).

Limit search to physical books

To limit your results to physical books held in a library:

  1. Use library search with keywords, titles, author names, and more
  2. A list of search results will load
  3. Locate the Availability filter to the left of the results
  4. If there are physical books in your search results, “Held by library” will appear as an option within that filter. Select “Held by the Library”
  5. Your results will filter to only include physical books

Limit search to e-books

To limit your results to digital e-books:

  1. Use library search with keywords, titles, author names, and more
  2. A list of search results will load
  3. Locate the Availability filter to the left of the results
  4. If there are e-books in your search results, “Available online” will appear as an option within that filter. Select “Available online”
  5. Your results will filter to only include digital e-books

Filter search results by library

By default, our search engine will search the 3 largest UH system universities:

Filter search results to a specific library in the UH system:

  1. Use library search with keywords, titles, author names, and more
  2. A list of search results will load
  3. Locate and select the Library filter to the left of the results
  4. A list of libraries that are included in your results will be shown
  5. Select a library from the list
  6. Your results will filter to only include those from the library you selected

Select multiple libraries at once:

  1. Hover above the list of libraries in the Library filter
  2. Checkboxes will appear to the left of each library name
  3. Select the checkboxes for the libraries to filter by
  4. Select “Apply Filters” near the bottom of the filters list
  5. Your results will filter to only include those from the libraries you selected

What do the “Everything” options mean?

The search bar has two drop-down options that are set to “Everything” by default.

These are used to limit or expand your search to include or exclude certain things.

The search bar with the two drop-downs highlighted. One drop-down is labeled "physical/electronic" and the other is labeled "sources"

First option: Physical/electronic

This option includes Everything, Library Catalog, and Articles+.

Everything: Searches both physical and electronic materials

Library Catalog: Searches catalogs (the items we own). This is mostly physical materials (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.).

Articles+: Search articles, electronic books, online videos, etc. Most are available online through subscriptions. Other online items may appear as well, hence the “+” (plus mark)

Second drop-down: Sources

Sources change depending on if you’re searching Everything, Library Catalog, or Articles+.

Sources for “Everything”

Everything: Search everything, including our repositories of local research and digitized library collections.

UH Digital Library: Search only in the UH Digital Library, a collection of materials documenting the University of Houston, the City of Houston, and the State of Texas, as well as other historically and culturally significant materials.

UH Institutional Repository: Search only in the UH Institutional Repository, the scholarly output and creative works produced by the UH community provided freely and open access.

Sources for “Library Catalog”

UH Libraries catalog: Searches all UH library catalogs at once, including UH-Clear Lake and UH-Downtown.

You can use this option to limit your search to any of the UH campus libraries, including:

  • M.D. Anderson Library (main library)
  • Architecture, Design, & Art Library
  • Music Library
  • Health Sciences Library
  • Special Collections
  • O’Quinn Law Library Catalog

Or, to the other UH universities in our system:

  • UH Clear Lake Catalog
  • UH Downtown Catalog

Sources for “Articles+”

There are no additional sources for Articles+, as all results come from a central index.