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A free search is a useful tool when users are unsure as to which channels should be used for the search. Indeed, the free search form comprises a single text box, and the terms entered therein will be searched for in the following channels:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Dewey description

These terms are searched for through the Boolean logical operator "AND".

The suggestions that appear in the text box as the user is typing the search term are due to the autocompletion mechanism, which is based on statistics related to the frequency of searches performed.

This type of search can generate a fair amount of background noise, namely numerous results that are irrelevant to the search. Nevertheless, it can produce interesting results that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.