The IDRC Digital Library (IDL) contains a current and comprehensive collection of research outputs created by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supported projects. This document provide assistance for the retrieval of and access to the outputs in the IDL.
Project Number Search
Request a digital copy
Browse the content of the IDL by IDRC’s current active programs or by theme.
Click on the Select Program dropdown under Active IDRC Programs to browse the outputs produced by IDRC-funded researchers.
The themes describe the broad subject areas covered by the outputs contained in the IDL. Click on themes to view sub-themes which are labelled with the names of the IDRC programs that have funded research in the subject areas. Outputs produced by IDRC programs are categorized into topics.
To search all of the IDL, use the search box in the middle of the home page.
The word(s) you enter in the search box will be searched against the title, author, subject, abstract, project title, project number and series of each output's record. The full text of digital documents is also searched.
The search engine ignores certain words that occur frequently in English, but do not add value to the search. These are:
"a", "and" , "are" , "as" , "at" , "be" , "but" , "by" , "for" , "if" , "in" , "into",
"is" ,"it" , "not" , "of" , "on" , "or" , "such", "the" , "to" , "was"
Use an asterisk (*) after a word stem to get all hits having words starting with that root, for example:
When searching an author’s name use an asterisk to retrieve the name in its different forms.
The search engine automatically expands words with common endings to include plurals, past tenses ...etc.
To search using multiple words as a phrase, put quotation marks (") around the phrase.
When searching a title that includes a colon, put quotation marks (“) around the title.
Put a plus (+) sign before a word if it MUST appear in the search result. For instance, in the following search the word "development" is optional, but the word "rural" must be in the result.
Put a minus (-) sign before a word if it should not appear in the search results. Alternatively, you can use NOT. This can limit your search to eliminate unwanted hits. For instance, in the search
you will get outputs containing the word "agriculture", except those that also contain the word "urban".
The following Boolean operators can be used to combine terms. Note that they must be CAPITALIZED!
Parentheses can be used in the search query to group search terms into sets, and operators can then be applied to the whole set, e.g.
When searching an author’s name use an asterisk to retrieve the name in its different forms, e.g.
When searching a title that includes a colon, put quotation marks (“) around the title, e.g.
When searching a project number, key in six digits or the first known digits followed by an asterisk, e.g.
The simple search page allows you to search by Author, Abstract, Date, Document Type, Language, Online Exists (Yes or No), Project Number, Access (Open Access or IDRC), Subject and Title. It also allows you to sort and order search results.
The advanced search page allows you to specify the fields you wish to search, and to combine these searches with the Boolean "AND", "OR" or "NOT".
The search filter is displayed above search results. Filters can be useful if a large number of results is retrieved. Results can be refined, the display can be changed and a modified search result list will be generated. Narrow a search by adding more search terms in the search box. Change the results display by clicking on the dropdown arrows to select the number of results on the page, and to sort or change the order of the results.
are a member of the public or an IDRC staff member and wish to subscribe to a sub-theme or topic and receive e-mail updates when new outputs are added
are an IDRC staff member and wish to view a digital file that IDRC is unable to disseminate open access for copyright reasons. Sign on with your network user name and password.
The IDL provides access to a comprehensive collection of research outputs dating back to 1970, the year the IDRC was created. Approximately 35% of IDL records include links to open access (OA) content. Digital copies of outputs that are not openly accessible (OA) can be requested by clicking on the Request a Copy button on condition that the output will be used for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting, education, parody or satire pursuant to the fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act (Canada).