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Searching for Publications

The Online Bookshop contains bibliographic information on over 700,000 publications. There are three methods of finding the publications you require:

Browsing through the navigation

Our publications are classified into over 500 subjects, categories and sub-categories accessed via the navigation bar on the left of your screen. As you click on a subject the categories within the subject you have selected appear above the subjects list always at the top of your page. In the same way, when you click on one of the categories, any sub-categories belonging to it will again appear above.

As you browse through the site you will see the publications displayed in two different ways. The majority will be in publications list format (listings page) allowing you to sort an extensive selection to find the publication you require - simply click on the option you require to sort by date published, title or author in ascending or descending order, then click 'GO'.

Alternatively, some subjects and categories will have feature pages which will display highlighted publications with images or articles detailing the latest information available.

In many cases however, the subject or category will have both a feature page and a listings page - just click the "Show All Publications" or "Featured Publications" links at the top of the listings to navigate between these two.

Searching within subjects, categories and sub-categories
As you click through the subjects, categories and sub-categories you will see that the grey search bar appears within each page. From here you can quick search within your chosen classification or opt to search "All Bookshop".

Quick Search

Enter your search term(s) in the field provided and select one of the following from the options below:

  • Title (or Series)
    Enter one or more words to search the title and series fields of our bibliographic records. (Publication subtitles will not be searched). Common words are excluded from the search e.g. 'as', 'and', 'at', 'the' and 'of' etc. Search results returned will contain all of the specified search terms in the title or series fields.

  • Description
    Searches all fields of our bibliographic database including subtitle and description fields. Search results returned will contain all of the specified search terms in any of these fields.

  • Author (or Corporate Author)
    Enter the author name(s); this can be an organisation or an individual. e.g. 'E M Forster' will return search results for publications by any authors with that name and 'Department of Health' or ' DOH' will return search results for publications by that organisation.
    To broaden your search and avoid null results due to inconsistencies in data entry use only surnames/parts of organisation titles. e.g. 'Forster' may return results where 'E.M. Forster' fails.

  • ISBN (or TSO subscription number)
    Enter the full 10/13 digit ISBN or 7 digit TSO subscription number to search for a specific publication.

Advanced Search

This method provides options for refining your search.

  • Publication type
    Select one of the following:
    All Publications - searches our full database of over 700,000 publications
    TSO Publications - searches only for items published and distributed by TSO
    TSO Subscriptions - searches only for subscription items supplied by TSO
    BSI Publications - searches only for items published and distributed by the British Standards Institute. All of the search fields can be used in conjunction with any of the above selections.

  • Search operators
    Simple operators can be used to refine your search, check the 'use search operators' box and follow the tips below.
    Use AND to ensure your search returns results containing all the specified words e.g. World AND population AND 2002 will return only results containing all three of these words.
    Use NOT to exclude a word from your search e.g Population NOT European will only return results containing 'Population' that do not contain the word 'European'
    Use OR to add optional criteria to your search e.g. Population OR Demographics will return results containing either 'population' or 'demographics' or both.
    Use quotation marks " " to search for an exact phrase e.g. "Poverty and possibilities" will return results containing this exact phrase. Without the quotation marks the 'and' would have been disregarded by the search.
    Use an asterisk * (wildcard) to search for results containing the specified word and its variants. e.g. Euro* will return results containing Euro, European, Europe and Eurotunnel etc.

  • Title or series
    Enter one or more words to search the title and series fields of our bibliographic records. (Publication subtitles will not be searched).
    Common words are excluded from the search e.g. 'as', 'and', 'at', 'the' and 'of' etc.
    For exact phrase searching use quotation marks " " around your search terms. Search results returned will contain all of the specified search terms in the title or series fields unless search operators such as OR or NOT are used (check use search operators box).
    Using fewer search terms will return more results.

  • Keywords
    Searches all fields of our bibliographic database including subtitle and description fields. Search results returned will contain all of the specified search terms in any of these fields. To broaden your search check the search operators box and use 'OR' and 'NOT' operators. (Explanation in of Search Operators above).

  • ISBN
    Whole number - enter 10 or 13 digit ISBN to search for a specific publication.
    ISBN Prefix - enter two or more digits followed by "*" to search for a list of publications with a particular prefix.

  • TSO subscription number
    Enter a 7 digit TSO subscription number to search for a specific subscription publication. If only part of the subscription number is known check the search operators box and use an asterisk * to return results containing the specified number and its variants. e.g subscription number 7901031 can be found by searching for *031 Or 7901* etc.
    For a full catalogue of TSO's subscription publications please contact customer services by calling +44 (0)870 600 5522 or email subscriptions@tso.co.uk.

  • Author(s)
    Enter author name(s); this can be an organisation or an individual. e.g. 'E M Forster' will return search results for publications by any authors with that name and 'Department of Health' or 'DOH' will return search results for publications by that organisation.
    To broaden your search and negate null results due to inconsistencies in data entry use only surnames/parts of organisation titles. e.g. 'Forster' may return results where 'E.M. Forster' fails.

  • Publisher
    If known enter the publisher name. If you are unsure, leave this field blank in order to maximise your results.

  • Published from and to
    Enter dates to limit your search. The 'from' date is defaulted to 01 January 1900 and the 'to' date is defaulted to today's date. If elements of the date field are left blank those elements will default as above.

  • Advanced search by classification
    When conducting an advanced search you can also select any number of classifications with which to limit your search. Simply choose a subject from the drop-down list then choose a category and sub-category within your selected subject if required. When you are happy with the classifications you have selected you can add them to your search criteria. Another set of classifications can be selected in the same way - you can use as many classifications as you need.

  • Legislation and Related Documents Published by TSO
    You can restrict your search criteria to specific types of legislation by combining other field entries with one or more of the following types of legislation: Bills Acts Statutory Instruments House of Commons Papers House of Lords Papers e.g. inserting 'Data Protection' in the title field and selecting 'Acts' in this section will return all Acts for Data Protection.