- How do I search for a resource?
You can search for a resource in two ways. To use the Keyword Search, type
your search term into the Keyword Search box and either hit return
or click the button next to the box. To use the Advanced Search, visit the
Advanced Search page, enter your
search term(s), and click the Search button.
- What is the difference between Keyword Search and Advanced Search?
Keyword Search allows you to search for one word or phrase without any
customization of the search process. It will locate your search term(s)
anywhere in the resource record.
Advanced Search provides options to refine your search strategy, including
searching for combinations of words or phrases, limiting the search by a
variety of variables, and customizing how you will see the search results.
- What are the best search methods?
A number of strategies allow you to maximize your use of Quick Keyword
Search and Advanced Search:
- Capitalization is irrelevant. For example, NASA is equivalent to nasa.
- To search for an exact phrase or number, enclose the search term within double quotes (e.g. "Library of Congress" or "114,457").
- The search function assumes a string of words is joined by AND. It will match records with all the words occurring in the searched fields either together or individually. (For example, a search for University of Wisconsin will return all records that include University, Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin.)
- To exclude a specific word or phrase from search results, add a dash before it (e.g. -magnesium or -"potato chips"). To require that results contain a term or phrase, add a plus sign before it (e.g. +magnesium or +"potato chips").
- The results will automatically be displayed in a descending order of relevance, with the most relevant items at the top. You may also sort results by the Title, Alternate Title, or other field as determined by the site administrator. Relevance is determined through a combination of word occurrence frequency and a weighted value of the metadata fields being searched. Word occurrence in the Title field is weighted the heaviest. The Alternate Title, Creator, Publisher, Classification, and Contributor fields are in the next lower tier of weight values. Occurrence in the Url and Description fields are given the lowest weight values.
- Advanced Search allows you to refine a search or search within certain metadata fields using dropdown lists. The portal software by default offers the following metadata fields as Limit options: Url, Date Issued, Resource Type, Language, Audience, and Format. These limits can be used exclusively or in combination with search terms. You may select more than one option from each Limit by highlighting the desired options from the list. To select a value(s), click on Show Limits to reveal available options. Highlight the desired value(s).
- If your search does not yield the kind of results you are looking for, click the Refine Search button to be taken back to the advanced search page with your previously-used search criteria already loaded.
- How do I browse for a resource?
To browse all resources included in the database, visit the
Browse Resources page.
The number in parentheses to the right of each topical subject gives you
information about how many sub-topics or records are associated with that
topic heading. Topics get more specific as you drill down. To go back to
previous topic level(s), click on them at the top of the page or use the
back button on your browser.
- Where can I find a list of the newest resources?
The New Resources area can be found on the
home page. This list contains the most
recently added resources.