Discovery Search

Basic and Expert Searching

  • By default, a basic search is a “keyword” search. Enter a term in the search box and press “enter” on your keyboard or use the search button to execute that search.
  • An expert search may include index labels and Boolean operators. This search may be executed in any search box, such as the basic search box or the Advanced Search screen.
    • With index labels, it is important to use these with all the search terms; otherwise those terms without index labels will be treated as keyword (kw:) searches.
  • Capitalize the Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) when using them in a search. Search terms with Boolean operators are processed in left to right order.
  • Author names are hot linked on search results, in the Item Detail and under Editions & Formats. Click the author’s name to execute an author phrase search (au= ) .

Wildcards and Truncation

  • Approximate term queries use these operators: asterisk, question mark and pound sign.
    • Truncation: Enter a minimum of the first three characters followed by an asterisk (*).
    • Wildcards: Use the pound sign (#) to represent a single character.
      • Use the question mark (?) to represent zero to 9 characters within a term.

Truncation allows you to search for a term and its variations by entering a minimum of the first three characters of the term followed by an asterisk (*).

Use the wildcards and/or truncation to expand or focus the search results.

Stemming may be used in place of these symbols; in these cases, each term in a query is treated as a logical OR of the various word forms of the term, so that all records that contain any form of the term are included in the result set. For example, the search term, ball, would be treated like: ball OR balls OR balled OR balling.

More information about using wildcards, truncation and stemming are in Searching WorldCat Indexes: Guidelines and requirements:
https://help.oclc.org/Librarian_Toolbox/Searching_WorldCat_Indexes/Get_started/Searching_WorldCat _indexes_guidelines_and_requirements#Stemming

Basic and Expert Search Examples

  • Boolean operators and Wildcards:
    • AND example: transportation AND highway#
    • OR example: photograph# OR painting#
    • NOT example: kingsolver NOT vegetable
    • Wildcard and Truncation example: art architectur? gre*
  • Author index: thubron AND title index: shadow silk road.
    • au:thubron AND ti:shadow silk road
  • Subject index: reading comprehension NOT subject index: literacy
    • su:reading comprehension NOT su:literacy
  • Keyword index: archaeology AND Keyword index: north america* OR Keyword index: united states
    • kw:arch?ology AND kw:north america OR kw:united states

Search Results & Sort Options

  • Use filters to refine search results based on Content, Format, Databases, Author, Year (or range of years), Language and/or Topics.
  • Once selected, your filters can be reapplied to preserve your search context in a single session without having to manually select them again. To do this, check the box to “Keep selections for next search” that appears above the selected filters on the left navigation bar. Otherwise, when a new search is performed, the filters are not applied.
  • The default sort order for search results is Library. This sort can be changed within search results, or a new default value can be set in the Service Configuration.
  • More information can be found in the Service Configuration documentation here: https://help.oclc.org/Librarian_Toolbox/OCLC_Service_Configuration/MyWorldCat.org/020Relevanc y_and_Scoping?=#WorldCat_Discovery_Default_Sort_on_Search_Results
  • Library considers individual library holdings first and then blends Title, Author, Date and Worldwide Holdings when determining search results.
    • Library holdings – items held by the institution display first in the result set.
    • Title -- visible indicator that an item matches a query.
    • Author -- the name appears high in the search results; Uses similar weights as the title.
    • Date -- emphasis on displaying newer materials.
    • Worldwide Holdings – displays foundational literature while ensuring a balance between these items with many holdings and more recent items with fewer holdings.
  • Other sort options are:
    • Best Match
    • Recency
    • Author (A-Z)
    • Date (Newest First or Oldest First)
    • Most widely held
    • Title (A-Z)
  • Best Match blends Title, Author, Date and Worldwide Holdings when determining search results. The emphasis is placed on title.
    • Title -- visible indicator that an item matches a query.
    •  Author -- the name appears high in the search results; Uses similar weights as the title.
    • Date -- emphasis on displaying newer materials.
    • Worldwide Holdings – displays foundational literature while ensuring a balance between these items with many holdings and more recent items with fewer holdings.
  • Recency blends Date, Title, Author and Worldwide Holdings when determining search results. The emphasis is placed on date.
    • Date -- emphasis on displaying newer materials.
    • Title -- visible indicator that an item matches a query.
    • Author -- the name appears high in the search results; Uses similar weights as the title.
    • Worldwide Holdings – displays foundational literature while ensuring a balance between these items with many holdings and more recent items with fewer holdings.
  • Most widely held presents an “un-clustered” view of search results, so you can locate an item with many holdings high in the results. This option emphasizes Worldwide holdings along with a blend of Date, Title, and Author when determining search results.
    • Worldwide Holdings – the record with the most library holdings displays in search results; may include link to ‘all editions & formats’ for other versions with fewer holdings.
    • Title -- visible indicator that an item matches a query.
    • Author -- the name appears high in the search res
    • Date -- emphasis on displaying newer materials.
  • The Author sorts by special characters and numbers in the first last name, then A to Z by last name.
  • The Title sorts by special characters and numbers, then A to Z; the initial article “the” is ignored.
  • For more information about these sort options refer to the Service Configuration documentation: https://help.oclc.org/Librarian_Toolbox/OCLC_Service_Configuration/MyWorldCat.org/020Relevancy_a nd_Scoping?=#WorldCat_Discovery_Default_Sort_on_Search_Results

Search using Author link

In a search result entry, you can perform a search for additional works by an author by clicking that author’s name. A search is performed in the author phrase index (au=) using last name, first name order. The search returns other items by this selected author.

Advanced Search

  • Select indexes from drop-down lists for guided searching
  • Select Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) •
  • Select database or database group to search •
  • Use limits to expand or focus search before it is executed

Advanced search indexes and limits

Indexes related to all the databases being searched and the most used WorldCat indexes are available for guided searching from the drop/down lists. Phrase indexes are included and labeled as such.

Phrase indexes search for every word from left to right in order. For a title phrase, exclude the initial articles, A, AN, THE, and their equivalents in other languages. Include all other words or truncate the phrase with the asterisk (*). With an author phrase search, enter the name in inverted order.

Limits for Year and Library (Libraries Worldwide, etc.) are always available. Other limits vary based on the databases selected. These other limits include:

  • Format = material / document type (as represented in WorldCat.org) 
  • Language = language of the resource • Audience = Juvenile or not-juvenile
  • Content = further refines material types, (fiction/non-fiction; thesis/dissertation; biography)

Transition from basic to advanced search

Search terms entered in the basic search box can be transferred to the advanced search screen by clicking the Advanced Search link below the basic search box. These terms are carried over to the Search Term field on the Advanced Search screen with the default keyword index identified.

Search terms on basic search screen can be transitioned to…

the advanced search screen with search index identified.

Additional search parameters, indexes and limits can then be added to this query.

Advanced Search Examples

  • Author phrase index: patchett, ann AND title phrase index: bel canto.
    • au=patchett, ann AND ti=bel canto
  • Subject index: social work NOT subject index: social services
    • su:social work NOT su:social services
  • Keyword index: physical geography AND subject index: ocean* OR subject index: sea levels.
    • kw:physical geography AND su:ocean* OR su:sea levels

Add or remove a database to search

  • WorldCat.org is the initial default database. On the Advanced Search screen, other available databases are listed. You may select from among these databases for your session; the default database is reset after a period of inactivity. •
  • The databases that display here are set up in the Service Configuration. For more information about how to select databases and organize them into groups, please refer to the Service Configuration documentation: https://help.oclc.org/Librarian_Toolbox/OCLC_Service_Configuration/Metasearch_Content/Licensed_C ontent_and_Databases
  • All Databases group displays all available databases. Click the arrow to expand the list:
    • Click “Select all in Group” to mark all databases in list
    • Click again to remove all marks
    • Select specific databases to search
    • Click Save Changes to save the selected databases for the searching session.

FirstSearch and WorldCat Discovery differences

This guide explains searching differences between WorldCat Discovery and FirstSearch, such as different index labels and the format for searching dates and ranges. https://help.oclc.org/Discovery_and_Reference/WorldCat_Discovery/Search_in_WorldCat_Discovery/Fi rstSearch_and_WorldCat_Discovery_differences

Category

Number of titles

Format/document type (dt:) Use x0: and x4:
ISBN (number search) Index label (bn:) is optional Hyphen required when using index label
ISSN (number search) Index label (in: ) is optional Hyphen required when using index label
Music publisher number (keyword or phrase) (renamed from Publisher number) Use mn: or mn= Use (*) truncation with phrase index (mn=)
OCLC number Index label (no: ) is required
Years or range of years Enter on Advanced Search screen Each year must contain 4 digits Use 2 dots (.. ) instead of hyphen between date range

 

 

 


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