Library Research Guides > Help Guides > Primo Quick Start Guide

Primo Quick Start Guide

Watch both videos or read through the tabs to learn about our discovery layer Primo™

Recommended: watch in full-screen by double clicking on video. 

Primo Interface Features

Primo interface features

Primo™ includes scholarly, professional,  popular, and news sources.

  • You can search Primo™ with keywords or use the advanced search to  search Primo™ like a database. 
  • Primo™ search results favor two things: newer materials & words that match in the title.
  • Broad search terms = more  books and encyclopedias
  • Specific search terms = more articles and primary sources.
  • Primo™ contains your library account where you renew and request SWITCH items.

What does Primo™ Search?

Most CUW Databases  
CUW Library Catalog
SWITCH Libraries Catalog
Open Access Resources (Repositories & International Materials)

To Login:

1. Click the sign in link in the top menu bar.


2. Choose CUW Portal.

3. Enter your CUW Portal Login and Password.

  1. Sign in to Primo™. Some resources require sign-in to appear in search results, even on campus.
  2. Enter a few keywords in the search box and choose the correct scope from the drop down options.
  3.  Avoid using stop words: the, a, an, for, on, 
  4. Use Subject, Publication Date, and Resource Type Filters on the left side help decrease large numbers of search results.

The top menu bar links to additional tools. Primo top menu options


When to Use Primo™

  • You want to see if CUW Library has access to a particular item
  • You want a variety of source types
  • Your topic is interdisciplinary (more than one subject area) or you need multiple points-of-view

When to Use a Subject Specific Database

  • You need to run a very specific search (e.g. a peer-reviewed research article describing evidence based practice, written by a nurse).
  • You need subject-specific primary sources.

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