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Zurich Open Repository and Archive : Help

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ZORA offers a faceted search (standard) and an advanced search. In most cases, the facetted search will provide the best results. The search slot is embedded in the header of all ZORA pages. The advanced search is needed when a term or a term or a specific property in a specific field.

Faceted Search

The faceted search uses a probabilistic search engine. Terms entered are reduced to their stem. Stop words (insignificant words) are filtered. Searches are made in the PDF full text, in the bibliographic information (authors/editors, year, title, journal title), in the abstract and in other fields.

Entering search terms

The faceted search is integrated in the form of a simple search slot on all ZORA pages in the header. Enter one or more search terms. Example: "Protein". For several entered terms the Boolean AND operation is used automatically. Example: "Protein losing nephropathies".

As you enter the search term, autocompletion is activated from the 3rd character onwards, which provides you with the best possible result suggestions; only the title is displayed in the suggestion list. In the title display you will see the search terms highlighted, but there may also be hits in the abstract, full text or metadata, which is why no highlighting is visible in the suggestion list. Pressing the Enter key or using the "Search" button starts the search. If you click on one of the items in the suggestion list, a search for all terms of the selected title is initiated (Google-like).


Facets are used to filter search results very similar to online stores, Google or Google Scholar.

Facets help to filter the search result by selecting specific metadata. The filters are selected criteria such as Publication Year, name (author, editor, contributor), Communities & Collections, Document Type, Full Text, Access Rights (Open Access, No Access, only for UZH, after expiry of embargo), Journal, DDC (subject area), Language, Affiliation. Each newly selected facet leads to a new search query with just this filter criterion. The expected number of hits is displayed in brackets next to the individual filter characteristics.

Results and status bar

The status bar allows you to re-sort the displayed results, export the results of the search (max. 1000 records at once) or set the length of the results list to 10 (50 or 100) hits. In between, status information is displayed.

For each hit, the metadata, the Open Access status and, if applicable, a PDF preview are displayed. In addition, text excerpts from abstract and full text are displayed. Full text excerpts from locked PDFs are only displayed with UZH login. Search terms are highlighted.

Note: Formula representations can be displayed if the author has marked them accordingly in the publication (LaTeX notation / Mathjax). Example: "annihilation decay mode".

Extended functionalities

Search Operators

Operator Description Examples
AND standard, can also be omitted Blut AND Blood
OR Blut OR Blood
NOT Blut NOT Blood
() Combination and brackets Protein AND (Blut OR Blood)

Phrase search

Terms in quotes are searched for exactly as they are written and in the order in which they appear.


Wildcard Meaning Example
* 0 or more characters Pro*in
? exactly one character Prot?in, Pro??in


Individual fields can be searched directly with the following field abbreviation:

Field Meaning Example
AB Abstract AB:Protein
AF Affiliation AF:"University of Zurich"
AU Author AU:Witzel
BT Book Title BT:"Kommunikationsforschung"
CC Community & Collection CC:"Soziologisches Institut"
CO Country CO:Switzerland
CS Chair Subject (freies, internes Kürzel) CS:cBehr0
DOI Digital Object Identifier DOI:10.1096/fj.01-0496fje
EPID Eprint ID (single or range) EPID:10000, EPID:10000-12000, EPID:10000-, EPID:-12000
[] = inclusiv, {} = exclusiv, {],[} = mix EPID:[10000 TO 12000], EPID:{10000 TO 12000], EPID:[10000 TO 12000}
FA Volltext verfügbar (1,0) FA:1
IS Number (Issue Number) IS:123
ISBN International Standard Book Number ISBN:978-3-658-03304-0
ISSN International Standard Serial Number ISSN:0925-2738
JT Journal Title JT:"BMC Microbiology"
KW Keyword KW:Protein
MLT Find thematically similar publications in ZORA using the Eprint ID MLT:218968
NA Name (=AU) NA:Meyer
OA Open Access Status (green, gold, hybrid, closed) OA:green
ORCID Open Researcher and Contributor ID ORCID:0000-0003-3631-635X
ORG Organisation (=AF) ORG:"University of Zurich"
PB Publisher PB:"BioMed Central"
PG Page PG:100
PMID PubMed ID PMID:12097144
PY Year of publication (single or range) PY:2015, PY:2015-2017, PY:2015-, PY:-2017
[] = inclusiv, {} = exclusiv, {],[} = mix PY:[2015 TO 2017], PY:{2015 TO 2017], PY:[2015 TO 2017}
RL Role (creator, editor, examiner) RL:examiner
SE Series Title SE:"Beiträge des Instituts für Rechnungswesen und Controlling"
TI Title TI:"Proteine und Vitamine"
TY Type (Journal Article, Dissertation, Book Section, Conference or Workshop Item, Habilitation, Edited Scientific Work, Monograph, Published Research Report, Scientific Publication in Electronic Form, Newspaper Article, Working Paper) TY:"Working Papers"
VL Volume VL:100

More examples

Query ... Meaning
AU:Müller AND PY:201* all publications with author name Müller and publication year from 2010 - 2019
TI:Protein AND PY:2015-2017 all titles in which the word "Protein" appears and publication year from 2015 - 2017.
JT:Frontiers* all journal titles in which the word "Frontiers" appears.

Example complex combinations

A search query for the author and part of the title may not return the desired entry at the top of the result list (example: Dina Pomeranz Freiheit). The terms are linked here by default with AND, which implies that the terms must occur in the same field. It is not an AND over the fields, but over the terms. A standard query with the OR operator, on the other hand, would return too many results. The ranking would then essentially sort by hit frequency and weighting of the fields, which is why the entry searched for would not appear at the top either.

The trick is a useful combination of AND and OR: dina pomeranz OR freedom (https://www.zora.uzh.ch/search/?q=dina%20pomeranz%20OR%20Freiheit&size=n_10_n). Here, the searched entry is displayed at the top of the result list because "freedom" is now found in the title field independently of the other two terms. Since the title field is given a higher weighting in our search than the other fields, title hits count higher.

Alternatively, the following query will also lead to the desired result: AU: "Pomeranz Dina" TI:Freedom (https://www.zora.uzh.ch/search/?q=AU%3A%22Pomeranz%20Dina%22%20TI%3AFreiheit&size=n_10_n). Here, the information on searching by field name provides further guidance.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search provides several fields from ZORA. By clicking the "?" button at the respective field, a short explanation about the field and its allowed contents can be displayed. In Advanced Search terms are always matched exactly, except if wildcards are used.


Allowed wildcards are % (matching exactly 1 character) or * (matching 0 or any number of characters).

Matching Terms within a Field

A drop down menu in front of a field allows to choose between "all of" (all terms must match, Boolean AND) or "any of" (any of the terms can match, Boolean OR). Default is "all of".

Match Conditions for Fields

At the bottom of the form, at "Retrieved records must fulfill", a drop down menu allows to choose between "all of these conditions" (Boolean AND search) and "any of these conditions" (Boolean OR search). Default is "all of these conditions".

Index Browsing

Publications can be browsed using five different indexes:

  • Publication Year
  • Creators & Editors - Names can be looked up by entering a family name, one or several initials, and/or an ORCID iD. For the index, names are merged into distinct family names and initials(s), e.g. publications having Muster, Katharina or Muster, Karl as authors are merged into one index entry Muster, K (fuzzy search). An additional index entry is created for names that have an ORCID iD, e.g. Muster, K 0000-0001-2345-6789, and all name variants for this ORCID iD are listed, e.g. Muster, Katharina Esther, Muster Katharina E, Muster Katharina. A precise publication list can be obtained from this index entry. Therefore, tagging your publications with your ORCID iD is recommended.
  • Communities & Collections - Faculties, institutes, selected journals and special collections.
  • Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) - Publications are classified automatically based on their communities assignment and in addition manually by the submitters. General subjects (first 3 digits) are used only. About 90% of the publications have a DDC assignment.
  • Scopus Subject Areas - Publications are classified automatically with fine-grained Scopus Subject Areas if they have an equivalent record in Scopus. About 50% of the publications have a Scopus Subject Area classification.

Display of Results

After searching using Search, results are initially ordered by relevance (occurence, weight, frequency and position of matching query terms). In Advanced Search, results are initially sorted in reverse chronological order (newest documents first). In Advanced Search, order by relevance is not available. The hits can be reorderd choosing sort options from a drop down menu.

Open Access Type and access modalities

ZORA items having a full-text document are marked with a lock indicating its Open Access type:

Green Open Access

Green - refers to self-archiving generally the pre-print or post-print in repositories.

Gold Open Access

Gold - refers to publications in fully accessible Open Access journals or books.

Hybrid Open Access

Hybrid - also called Paid Open Access, refers to subscription journals with Open Access to individual articles usually when a fee is paid to the publisher or journal by the author, the author's organisation, or the research funder.

Closed Access

Closed Access

  • Document Locked Access restricted. Download only possible for UZH members after login. Status may change, e.g. after expiration of embargo period.
  • Document not available Full text not available from this repository.

The Open Access type of ZORA items is determined either automatically, using various information sources such as the JDB, Directory of Open Access Journals, Unpaywall, and ZORA item information itself, or manually by the Open Access team of the Main Library of UZH. Note that the Open Access type is not a static quantity, but may change with time, e.g. if a publication flips from embargoed to Open Access.


ZORA integrates ORCID.

Submitting Documents to ZORA

Creating Publication Lists