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Going Green: Searching the Online Catalog

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Photographed by:  Riksanteri, 2009.  Wikimedia Commons:  Public Domain

Boolean Searching Video Tutorial & Quiz

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Video created by Lindsay Decker, University of Pittsburgh Field Placement Intern.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY). 

Searching the Catalog

Gumberg Library Quick Search allows you to search for items in four general fields of information:  Keyword, Author, Title, and Subject.  

  • Keyword-This is the default search in the advanced catalog.  Selecting this field will search your keyword or phrase anywhere in the Bibliographic record.  
  • Author-Use this feature when searching for works by a particular author or scholar (last name, first name). 
  • Title-Use this feature when searching for the title of particular work
  • Subject-Use this feature to search by topic.  Library of Congress Subject Headings is the most efficient way to discover all materials on a particular subject.  Please note-Using this feature will sometimes yield a limited number of returns or no results. 

Search Operators and Other techniques

Boolean Operators

In database searching, boolean operators are referred to as conjunctions (AND, OR, NOT) use to combine or exclude key terms or phrases.  This technique of searching is derived from George Boole's theories of algebraic logic.  Applying this technique will eliminate inappropriate or unsuitable returning results.  

AND-requires both terms to be in each item returned.  Using AND will narrow your search results.  

OR-either term (or both) will be in the returned document.  Using OR results in a larger quantity of returns.

NOT-the first term is searched, then any records containing the term after the operator NOT are subtracted from the results.

 Truncation (*) 

Truncation is a search technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.  This is also referred to as stemming.  By using an asterisk after the root of your desired search term, the results will yield any ending of that word.

Consider the following example:  creat* will search creature, creation, create, creating, creator, etc.

 

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