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Library Catalog: Quick and Advanced Search

This guide will introduce you to the library catalog, what they are, how they came to be, how they have changed, and how to use them to perform basic and advanced searches by title, author, subject heading, and keywords that search every record area.

Quick & Advanced Searching

Quick Search: 

Has a limited number of fields to search by such as Any Word AnywhereTitle,Boolean Search, etc. To do any complex search you have to know a special syntax (+alien or !migration) to tie the terms together. The Quick Limit allows you to narrow your search even more (Last 5 years, e-Books, Films/Video)

 If you know exactly what your are looking for, it can give more precise results.

Advanced Search: 

Is often easier to get results with because it gives you more ways to search by, an easier way to combine Boolean Terms (AND, OR, NOT) using drop downs, and is not as picky about the order the words are entered. There are more fields to search from like ISBN (International Standard Book Number), Publisher, Conference Proceeding, and Coporate Author (like the U.S. Department of Defense) 

If you know don't know exacty what your looking for, it can give you more search options.

Searching Tips

Topic/Ideas

Quick or Advanced Search?

Use Quick Search if you know what your looking for, it will allow you to be more direct. 

Use Advanced Search if you aren't sure what your looking for, it allows the most flexibility. 

Quick Search

Search by

  • Any Word Anywhere: Use plus (+) to indicate a word must be present (e.g. +alien) Use an exclamation mark (!) to indicate that a word should not be present (e.g. !migration) To truncate, use question mark (?) to find statistics, statistical, and statistician (e.g. statistic?) To search phrases, use quotes (e.g. "civil war")
  • Title & Journal/ Magazine Title: Type the first words of the title: Red Badge of, Omit beginning of articles: A, An, The, etc.
  • Author: For individuals, enter the last name first, followed by the first name (e.g. Smith John) For names of organizations or groups: enter name normally
  • Subject: Use Library of Congress Subject Heading: (e.g. elections united states) or Medical Subject Headings: (e.g. brain anatomy)
  • Boolean: To combine search terms you must use and, or, not between your search terms. To truncate, use question mark (?) to find statistics, statistical, and statistician (e.g. statistic?) To search phrases, use quotes (e.g. "civil war") To group terms use parentheses: (child? or teen?) and "learning disabilities"
  • Call Number: Enter as much of the call number as you know, including punctuation: ps3537.t32
  • Prolific Author/ Composer: To search for musical works by composer, enter last name first: Mozart W To search for works by prolific authors, enter last name first: Shakespeare

Quick Limit

  • The Quick Limit allows you to narrow your search by different classifications such as Last 5 years, e-Items, Film/ Video, etc. The Quick Limit can also limit results to different libraries within Western Illinois University and sections within Malpass Library on Western Illinois University's Macomb campus.

Advanced Search

Search by

  • Select any of these to narrow down your search such as publisher, ISSN, Publication Year, etc. 

Boolean

  • Use AND, OR, NOT to restrict your search.
  • AND will include two or more terms to a search, by searching United States AND territories each search result will include both of these terms.
  • OR will include two or more terms that may have similar meaning, by searching college or university results will include either one of these terms.
  • NOT will not include that term in the results, by selecting NOT for Guam, search results will not include that term.   

Search Terms  

  • any of these words: By typing United States it would find articles with any or all of the words.
  • all of these words: By typing United States it would only find articles that contain all of these words.
  • these words as a phrase: By typing two peas in a pod it  will find articles that contain all of these words.