Polymer Library

Search Tips

To get the most value out of the Polymer Library, why not spend a few moments learning about some easy search techniques? You will find the information you need much more quickly, and also have confidence that the titles you have found are the best you can get. Further help can be found in the documents which you can download at the bottom of this page.

Searching the Polymer Library

You can simply list the most relevant words to your search - the documents which mention all those words (in the same record) will be retrieved. It won't matter whether you use capitals or lower case and English or American spelling.

Using AND, OR and NOT

To look for words of similar meaning you need to add OR to your search strategy e.g. recycling OR reclaiming, otherwise it will only pick out those records that mention both the terms recycling and reclaiming.

If you want to use this along with other terms you will need to use AND and brackets e.g. bottle AND (recycling OR reclaiming). You can use as many different terms and as many sets of brackets as you like. This is very easy when you get the hang of it, and can make a really big difference to the quality of your results.

You can eliminate a set of results using NOT, e.g. bottle AND (recycling OR reclaiming) NOT pet to look for recycling of bottles other than those made of polyethylene terephthalate. Be wary when using NOT because it will eliminate all records that mention the term in question. For example, the above search query will eliminate all records mentioning PET, even those that discuss the recycling of many types of plastic bottle which happens to include PET.

Search fields

You can just type words into the main search query box at the top of the search page. This will search the following fields:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Index Terms
  • Non-Polymer Terms


The results can be displayed by a relevance ranking system which takes into account whether all the words are mentioned in the record, the number of times they are mentioned, and which fields the words appear in. The records which score highest will appear at the top of the summary list. Alternatively the results can be ranked by date, with the newest at the top. This may take slightly longer to create the list.


The system will assist you in your search by stemming your query, for example, if you type in bottle it will also search for bottles, bottled, bottling, etc.

Phrase Searching

To search for an exact phrase (and in effect switch off the stemming function) you need to use 'single quotes' or "double quotes" e.g.'bottle' will not find bottles, bottled, bottling, etc.

Useful Resources

There are some resources which may be of use to you: