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How To - Do Basic Searches in WorldCat Discovery

Expert searching

Expert searches (ones that contain index labels and Boolean operators) can be entered in any search box, including the search boxes on the Advanced Search screen.  

Please note: If you use an index label for one search term in the box, you must use index labels for all search terms. Otherwise those without labels will be treated as a keyword.  

Some of the more useful labels include:  (using the : makes it a word search, so any word that matches in the field will result in a hit; using an = creates a phrase search so the words must be in that order to result in a hit)

 Author (word)



 formats: last name or first name

 Author (phrase) 


 au=O'Shea, Mark 

 formats: Last name, first name

 Genre Form (word)         


 ge: nonfiction 


 Publisher (word)         


 pb: Chicago 


 Publisher (phrase


 pb= University of Chicago Press             

 searches for the complete phrase

 Title (word)


 ti: herpetology

 will return titles with herpetology in the title 

 Title (phrase)


 ti= Book of Snakes 

omit initial articles (a, an, the; such as in this title The Book of Snakes). Returns items with complete phrase