Word/Phrase Search Help

A word or phrase search looks for a word, words, or phrase from a title, author, subject, note, or a song or short story title. It is a useful way to search when you are unsure of the exact title of a book, video, CD, etc., but think you know a word or two, or when you aren't sure what subject heading to use. It's also useful when you want to broaden your search and find more items than you found with a regular title, author, or subject search, or when you want to narrow your search because you know an exact phrase.

Multiple words are searched as a phrase unless and, or, and not, near, within are used (See "Boolean operators" below). For example: home repair only looks for records that have the phrase home repair in them, not records that have both separate words home and repair in different positions.

CAPITALIZATION does not matter - stephen king = Stephen King

PUNCTUATION
· Apostrophes are removed - omalley = O'Malley ; shed = she'd
· All other punctuation marks are treated as a space - fodors u s a = Fodor's U.S.A.

BOOLEAN OPERATORS
Single word or phrase searches may result in the retrieval of either a very large number of titles or too small a number. To narrow or broaden your word search, type more than one word to make a phrase or use the Boolean operators, or connectors: and, and not, or, near, within.

and - Used to narrow a search by looking for two or more words in the catalog's information about a title. Each title retrieved must have both words somewhere in its full record. To use and for a search, it is necessary to actually type the word and as there is no implied and between words. For example: searching for home and repair will list all titles that have both words somewhere in their full records.

and not - Used to narrow a search by excluding a word from a search. For example: searching for mexico and not new will list all titles that have the word mexico in their full record, except those that have the word new.

or - Used to broaden a search by combining lists of titles that have either one word, or another word, in their full records. For example: searching for home or house will list all titles that have either the word home or the word house in their full record.

near - Used to narrow a search to words near each other in any order (within 10 words) in the same labeled field of a full record · like a single title, subject, or note field. For example: searching for united near history would list the title United States History, but not the title Labor Stands United that had a subject heading of Labor unions – History because they are in different labeled fields.

within - Used to narrow a search to words within a specified number of words in any order in the same labeled field of a full record. For example: united within 2 congress will list the title History of the United States Congress, but not Congress Will Never Be United because the words are separated by more two words.

To include the words and, and not, or, within, near, in a phrase search and not use them as Boolean search commands, enclose them in quotation marks ("_"). For example: war "and" peace ; "near" east.

WILDCARDS AND TRUNCATION
To search for a word when you are unsure of one or more of its interior or trailing letters, or when you want to search for multiple words with a common stem, replace that letter or letters with a:
? (question mark) · replaces a single letter · narrow search
* (asterisk) · replaces from one to five letters · broader search
** (double asterisk) · replaces any number of letters · broadest search

PARENTHESES TO PRIORITIZE SEARCHES
Parentheses force the catalog to perform initial searches on the words inside them, and then combine them with those outside. For example: searching for repair and (home or house) will list titles that have the word repair and either the word home or the word house in their full records. This would be equivalent to the search (repair and home) or (repair and house). Note that the search without parentheses, repair and home or house, would be quite different, as it would first search for all titles that contain both the word repair and the word home, then add to that list all the titles that have the word house in them.

SPECIFIC FIELDS
You may narrow your search by limiting it to specific types of fields in title records like author (a=), title (t=), subject (s=), or note (n=). For example: to search only the title fields for the phrase african americans (and not the subject fields) you would type t=african americans. You may use Boolean search commands to combine searches from specific fields. For example: to retrieve only the title "Different Seasons" by Stephen King you might search t=seasons and a=king · this would ignore titles with the words seasons and king in the subject or notes fields.


SORTING SEARCHES
To choose how your search will be sorted, before performing the search (or after clicking ) click in the box next to Sort by: that says DATE and you will see a menu with the options DATE, ALPHABETICAL, and RELEVANCE. Point with your mouse to the way you wish your search sorted and click or release when it is highlighted. The default is by Date.

Date - your search results will be sorted by year of publication and displayed in reverse chronological order (newest first).

Alphabetically - your search results will be sorted alphabetically by title.

Relevance - your search results will be sorted with the most relevant titles first and will display with an extra column showing one to five stars. Relevance is determined by the following and in the following order:
· Type of field the word or phrase appears in (in order from most relevant to least) 1.Title, 2.Author, 3.Subject, 4.Note.
· Number of times the word or phrase appears in each record.
· How close multiple words or phrases are to each other in each record.



LIMITING SEARCHES
Limiting is a way to narrow the results of a search and should be done before a search is performed (or after clicking ). More than one option may be used to limit the results of a search, although limiting by both "Material format" and "Collection where item is located" together would be either redundant or yield no results.

Material format - The default is "ANY" format. Clicking in the box that says "ANY" will pull up a menu that lists the formats of materials you may limit by, such as book, video, music, or spoken word. To limit your search results to one format, point with your mouse to the format you wish from the list and click or release when it is highlighted. For example: searching for the word dogs and limiting it to VIDEO will list all video titles that have the word dogs anywhere in the full record, including movies, nonfiction videos, and children's videos.



Collection where item is located - The default is "ANY" collection. Clicking in the box that says "ANY" will pull up a menu that lists most collection locations in the library, such as adult nonfiction, juvenile picture books, or nonfiction video. To limit your search result to one collection, point with your mouse to the collection you wish from the list and click or release when it is highlighted. For example: searching for the word dogs and limiting it to Children’s Picture Books will list all the books in the Picture Book collection that have the word dogs anywhere in the full record.



Year of publication - Typing a full year date (ex: 1996) in either the "After" box or "Before" box or different dates in each box to make a range will limit your search results to materials published before or after the date typed, or between two dates if you've filled in both.



· Words searched using a keyword search will appear in red in the full record of all resulting titles.
· If you do not find what you need, please ask a librarian for assistance.