SOLO service updates

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) is the catalogue for the major collections of the libraries of the University of Oxford. It can be searched by anyone interested in the resources held by Oxford libraries. When signed on to SOLO, library members can also see additional information, such as the current availability of items, as well as place requests, view their account, and access online resources (appropriate to their membership type).

Since July 2011, SOLO has offered a single interface allowing library users to search for material, place holds on selected items where necessary, monitor and renew their items and access online content directly. Previously library members had to use multiple interfaces to do all these things. 

Latest news

26 January 2016: SOLO upgrade, new features

Library choice menu

When choosing a library from the drop down menu beside the search box, you can now start typing the name of the library to jump to the library you want.

Did you mean?

You are now given the option to hide 'Did you mean' suggestions. You can do this from the page footer or by clicking on the cross in the 'do not show again' message. The suggestions are turned off for the entire session, not just that search. You can re-enable the suggestions again by clicking the option in the footer.

Date Refine

New Date Refine boxes have now been made available with the refine options on the left hand side of the Brief Results screen.

14 July 2015: SOLO Upgrade, new features

The software that powers SOLO will be upgraded during the scheduled maintenance work window 6am – 9.30am on Tuesday 14th July. Some highlights of the changes include:

1) Online access indicators – prominent green dots show that the item is available online and also notes the existence of physical copies. eLD items display an orange dot.
2) Info buttons in Find & Request tab - these link to the library information pages at so that you can easily check opening hours, locations and admission policies.

3) Browse related titles feature allows you to explore similar books from libraries across the University.

Other features include:

  • Boolean operators now available in advanced search interface to help build complex queries 
  • Holdings information display improvements for items with multiple lines
  • If you click on “More holdings information” there is a pop-up with a clearer display
  • Permalink – a stable url is now provided more prominently, giving you a quick way to copy the link to a particular result in SOLO.

Improvements have also been continuing apace between upgrades. You may have already noticed that:

  • if you try leaving an open SOLO session unused for a while (up to 30 minutes), you should now be able to continue with the same session
  • the Search Everything tab is now better at intermingling results from the other two tabs (Oxford Collections and Articles & More)
  • searching for Chinese and Japanese materials are much improved
  • Hebrew alternative spellings are now included in searches 

9 December 2014: SOLO Upgrade, new features

The software that powers SOLO will be upgraded during the scheduled maintenance work window 6am – 9.30am on Tuesday 9th December. 

We hope the upgrade will be completed successfully during this window but as our first major upgrade in over a year it may take slightly longer. Further information will be provided on the day. Remember that COPAC can be used to search our library catalogue if SOLO is unavailable.

This upgrade fixes some known issues and includes some interesting new features. 

Bug Fixes

Several bugs and problems afflicting previous versions of the software are resolved, including:

• Searching with Chinese script

• Refine further lightbox (pop-up) not appearing after browse search

No results page

Searches which return no results are directed to a page offering suggestions and a link to SOLO Live Help.

Times Cited information for some articles

Times Cited information appears for certain results within the Articles & More and Search Everything tabs. Citation counts are taken from Scopus & Web of Science with links provided through to the original citation within the databases.

Altmetric information for some articles

Altmetric icons appear for certain results within the Articles & More and Search Everything tabs. Altmetrics give an indication of the amount of attention an article has received online. Hovering over the Altmetric icon provides more detail and a link to a page relating to that specific article on with onward links to the sources for the various metrics it has gathered.

3 September 2013: SOLO Upgrade, new features

The software that powers SOLO, the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue, has now been upgraded. While SOLO will function the same following the upgrade, the new version of the software brings with it various additional new features, many of which have been requested by readers.

1. Browse searching

The new browse search allows users to browse records using A-Z lists of authors, titles or subjects. The browse lists cover the holdings of the majority of libraries within the University, but they do not include the databases indexed in OxLIP+ or research papers and theses indexed in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA). You can browse OxLIP+ or ORA within their own dedicated search interfaces.

2. Date range search (Advanced search)

This is a new option in the advanced search screen which allows users to limit searches by specifying a publication date range. Results from the search will only include material where the publication date falls between the start and end date set.

3. Improved export options

The facility to export records to reference managers has been greatly improved in this new version of SOLO. It is now possible to export directly from individual records without saving to e-shelf and to export to desktop reference management software such as Endnote and RefWorks.

4. Multiple selection/exclusion of facets (Refine your results)

It is now possible to refine your results using more than one option in the facet list on the left-hand side of the page. To do so, click on 'refine further'. This will also offer the option to exclude facets.

Please note: Readers using the ""Libraries"" facet are strongly advised to avoid excluding libraries.

This is because if an item is held in a number of libraries and you choose to exclude one of them, you will not see the item at all, even though it is also available in other libraries that you have chosen to include. For example, if you exclude the Bodleian, you will not see items in other libraries if they are also held in the Bodleian. To refine your search by library you are advised to use the ""include"" option but not ""exclude"".

We continue to work to develop and improve SOLO, and welcome comments via the feedback link on the SOLO front page. For help and guidance using SOLO, please see the SOLO online guide or ask library staff. The Bodleian Libraries Live Help service is also available on the SOLO front page from 9am-5pm on weekdays.

20 September 2012: Changes to display of locations

Changes to SOLO, 28-29 July 2012: Improvements to display of records and clustering


The Bodleian Libraries are working to develop and improve the SOLO interface and services further. The SOLO User Group discusses user feedback and works with the technical team to identify areas for further development. We will keep users informed about developments to SOLO though library websites and news feeds.

Giving Feedback and Reporting Issues

We are very keen to know what you think about SOLO, and encourage you to report any issues you come across. Please use the SOLO feedback options to get in touch. General feedback will be passed to the SOLO User Group for discussion. The systems team will address any technical problems reported.

Known Issues with SOLO

There are various known issues with SOLO which are being worked on as part of the ongoing development. You may wish to look at the current known issues to clarify those issues of which we are already aware and working to resolve.

Future developments

The underlying software which powers SOLO continues to be actively developed. News of developments to SOLO will be published on this page as and when available.

How do I access SOLO?

SOLO is available at:

It is also linked from the Bodleian Libraries homepage, and is the home screen usually displayed on PCs and terminals in the libraries.

What if I need Help?

Help with using SOLO is available in lots of different ways.

SOLO Live Help

During core hours (usually Monday-Friday, 9 am -5 pm) help is available through the SOLO Live Help service, which enables users to talk directly to one of our support team for help with SOLO queries. This service can be accessed from the SOLO homepage.

Video tutorials

These cover some of the main aspects of SOLO use and take you step-by-step through some of the key processes, showing you what to do at each stage. These tutorials can be found on the SOLO homepage.

SOLO LibGuide

The online SOLO Libguide offers more detailed help, giving information on advanced use of SOLO, as well as covering the basics for those getting started. The SOLO Libguide also offers access to the SOLO video tutorials, and to a useful list of FAQs.

Other ways to get help

Users may wish to contact the Ask an Oxford Librarian service for help, especially when the SOLO Live Help service is unstaffed. Help is also available from staff in the libraries.

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