FCS 6901 Thesis Development Seminar: Using the Library Catalog

Using the Library Catalog

 

Many of our materials are available both in print and online through Usearch, the library catalog. To use the library catalog:

  1. Go to the library homepage at lib.utah.edu and log in in the upper right corner with your uNID and password

2. choose the Advanced Catalog Search link underneath the main search box

  1. Use the dropdown menus to search for Title or Author/creator if you know them. Otherwise, just enter the keywords you want to use to search. Use the other limiters  to narrow down by material type and date, if you wish. Then, click the search button

 

4. To determine where this item is located, I can click on the title of the item to see the catalog entry. In the middle of the page should be a Locate link, which will link to a map of the stacks. (Note: the site may require you to log in with your uNID and password before you see this option. 

 

  1. The locate button will open the appropriate floor map for where to find the book. Since this call number starts with E, we will look for the location of the call numbers starting with E. Then, you can look at the end of each shelf in the area. The shelf cards say something like E15-125, E125.1-E400, etc. We would look for the shelf that has E98, find the E98’s, then look for E98.C, and so on until we find the book. If you get stuck finding a book, you can always come to the Knowledge Commons Desk on the second floor for help. Once you know where the book is located, you can go to the shelf and pick it up. You can check it out with your UCard at the first or third floor Security desks.

6. If you prefer not to go to the shelf, you can request the book be pulled from the shelf for you. To do this, click on the title of the book to go into the record for it. Scroll down until you see the Get It heading (Note: If you are not logged in, you may see a yellow box asking you to log in before you can make a request. If this is the case, log in with your uNID and password.) You should see a blue Request button. Click there

  1. Fill out the information in the box that opens. Choose where your Pickup location using the dropdown menu and then click on the Request button. You will receive an email after your book has been pulled (which usually takes 24 hours.) Items designated for pickup at the Marriott Library will be available at the first floor security desk by the West Entrance.

9. If the item says Online Access, it is available electronically.

10. To get to it, click the title in the search results and go to the record in the catalog. Look for the View It heading, and then you should see a link letting you know through what platform you can access the item. Click there to open the item.

 

 

 

Search Strategies

Boolean Operators are used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms.  When searching electronic databases, you can use Boolean Operators to either broaden or narrow your search results.  The three Boolean Operators are AND, OR and NOT.


Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are simple words (AND, OR and NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused search results.

venn diagram with "teenagers" in the left circle, "adolescents" in the right circle, and "OR" in their overlap.  All circles and overlap are colored purple.

OR

  • Broadens or expands your search
  • Is used to retrieve like terms or synonyms
  • Finds all items with either teenager OR adolescent
  • In set theory and math, "union" is inclusive "OR".
    "OR" = teenager U adolescent

Venn diagram with the left circle "diet" overlapping with the right circle "children".  The overlap says "and".  The venn diagram is white except for it's overlap "and" which is purple.

AND

  • Narrows or limits your search
  • Used to retrieve unrelated terms
  • Finds items with both diet and children
  • In set theory and math, "intersection" is "AND".
    "AND" = diet children

Venn diagram with the left circle saying "spider", the right circle saying "monkey", their overlap says "not".  The left circle that says "spider" is purple, but the right circle and overlap are white.

NOT

  • Narrows or limits your search
  • Finds the term "spider" not "monkey"
  • Use the NOT operator with caution
  • May eliminate relevant records

Note:
AND is the default or implied operator in Usearch, Google, Scopus, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and most search interfaces. 
"ecotourism sustainable" is the same as "ecotourism AND sustainable"

In Usearch, EBSCOhost, SCOPUS, and PubMed, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) must be entered in upper case.


Phrase Searching

Phrase searching is using quotations.

For instance:

"international olympic committee"
"Utah tennis"

It finds the exact phrase, and items with words in the order typed.  One exception is Scopus.  Scopus uses curly brackets or braces for {exact phrase} searching.  In Scopus, quotes are used for "loose/approximate phrase" searching.


Truncation Stemming

Truncation or stemming is using an asterisk *.  It is also known as a wildcard.  Truncation is a symbol that retrieves all the suffixes or endings of a word.

For instance:

school*             retrieves school, schools, schooling, schooled, etc.
latin*                 retrieves latina, latino, latinx, latinos, latinas, latin, latinization, etc.

Note:
In the Library of Congress, % (percent sign) is a single character wildcard and ? (question mark) is truncation for multiple characters.


Nesting

Nesting is commonly used when combining more than one Boolean operator (OR, AND).  Most search interfaces search left to right.  Using parentheses in a search changes the order of operation.

For instance:

(moral* OR ethic*) AND (assisted suicide OR euthanasia)
(ski OR skis OR skiing OR snowboard*) AND video*

Proximity or Adjacency Operators

Proximity operators allow you to find one word within a certain distance of another.

With (w), Near (n), Next (n), or Pre (p) are common proximity operators.

Note:
Read the database help to see if proximity operators can be used in your searches.


Thanks to Alfred Mowdood for authoring these instructions.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library