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Basic Searches

Introduction  
Browsing  
Keyword Searching  
The Browse Screen  
Summary Results  
Record Display  

Advanced Searches

Introduction  
Beginning  
Boolean  
Phrase Searching  
Truncation  
Wild Cards  
Limiters  

How do I find ... ?

Theses   Newspapers  

Basic Searches




Introduction



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resAnet contains brief descriptive records of the holdings of the National Library of Canada *. The database contains to over 1.7 million bibliographic records. It is a subset of the AMICUS database which contains the holdings information for several hundred libraries as well as those of the National Library of Canada. The Library's collection includes books, periodicals, Canadian sound recordings, doctoral and masters theses, federal, provincial and municipal government publications, alternative format materials, electronic books and serials, newspapers, films and videos.

* resAnet also includes CIP (Cataloguing in Publication) records. CIP records are records for items not yet published. They will appear as items without "COPIES" information.





BROWSING



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A basic search is composed of choosing an index by selecting one of the radio buttons which appear beside the searchable indexes and inputting a search term(s) in the dialogue box:

Search Term(s):

For example:

Choose Title and type in stone angel to find the title, The Stone Angel. (The Title index is the default for all searches, unless another is specified.)

Choose Author and type in munro alice (last name, first name) to find works by Alice Munro.

Choose Subject and type in decadence to find works about Decadence.

To execute the search, select:  

CAPITALIZATION - You can use either upper or lower case. It is not necessary to capitalize words which otherwise are capitalized.

PUNCTUATION - In most cases you can ignore punctuation. The exception is Subject searching: Where a subject heading contains a dash between the heading and the sub-heading, two hyphens must be inserted. For example,

Windmills--Canada





KEYWORD SEARCHING



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Simple keyword searching is available through the Basic Search screen. Inputting your terms and selecting "Search" instead of "Browse" will perform a simple keyword search. The simple keyword search looks for occurrences of your word or words within a selected index.

If you input more than one word, the search will be treated as if you were searching for records with both terms in the specified field. This is sometimes referred to as an implied "AND".

Articles, prepositions, and conjunctions should not be included in keyword searches. (e.g. the, a, an, to)

It is not possible to use boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT from the Basic Search screen. If they are used they will be ignored.

For Example:
If you type in
Title  Author  Subject  ISBN  ISSN 
Selecting will then perform a keyword search.

This search would find items with both dogs and cats in the title.

The phrase dogs or cats
would be interpreted as dogs AND cats as well

If you wish to perform more complex searches including limiting to specific types of material, you should use theSimple or Advanced Advanced Keyword template.




BROWSE SCREEN



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If you chose
the results of your search will lead you to a screen which allows you to browse an index of terms similar to the terms you entered. You will also notice that (2 docs) or something similar will appear next to each of the terms in the index. This refers to the number of documents related to that particular search term.

Selecting one of these terms will lead you to a summary display of documents if more than one document e.g.(3 docs) is related to the term or to a brief record display if only one document (1 doc) is related to it.





SUMMARY RESULTS



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The Summary Results screen allows you to view a summary of the records associated with a particular term or terms.
Your search term(s) appear in quotes on the top left the screen followed by the number of records which match your term(s).

Note the buttons and icons which appear and the functions they perform:

New Search returns you to the main search screen

Previous sends you to the previous page of your search set results.

Next sends you to the next page of your search set results.

Record    sends you to the record next to the icon.


SORTING

 Sort By: 

This function allows you to sort search set results by three parameters - Title, Author, and Date. Select the down arrow at the left of the sort button to see the other sort options. Simply choose a sort option from the dropdown menu.

To execute the sort, select:  





RECORD DISPLAY



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You can navigate from the displayed record to related authors, subjects or titles using the hypertext links (in blue).

For example,

If you are viewing the record for Understanding media : the extensions of man, and want to see other works by Marshall McLuhan, select his name to display a listing of all his works held by the National Library.

The record display may also contain URLs (Internet addresses) to the National Library's electronic collections. These are active hypertext links to the electronic publications themselves.




Advanced Searches


Introduction



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The advanced search function provides boolean capabilities as well as limiters. It is possible to limit by several material types and search for keywords within the subject, author or title fields. It is also possible to combine searches on different fields.

Beginning



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The most basic search, a simple "AND"ing together of two terms can be performed from the Basic or Advanced search templates. This consists of choosing an index by using the downward pointing arrow to view the options and inputting two or more words into the first box of the template.

This search would find items with both dogs and cats in the title.

(see also Keyword Searching). The Advanced Keyword template, however, permits you to use alternate boolean operators (OR and NOT)

Boolean



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Boolean is what we call the logic behind the combination of terms. There are three principal types of boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT). They are represented in the template by the drop-down menus which precede the choice of index.
Placing your mouse over the down arrow and clicking will allow you to view theses options.

Boolean logic within the template is prioritized. The following search would be interpreted by resAnet as (gabriel and dumont) or (louis and riel). Each line represents a set. You would retrieve items with either Gabriel and Dumont or Louis and Riel in the title.
                  
It is also possible to use different indexes:
                  
The search above would retrieve items with green and gables in the title but not with montgomery as an author.

Phrase Searching



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Phrase searching is performed by using quotation marks.

For Example:


The search would find items with the phrase Joseph Brant in the title. Similarly, compound words such as mid-wife and phrases such as Eric the Red should be contained within quotation marks.


Truncation



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Truncation in resAnet involves the shortening of a word with the use of a symbol to represent an unlimited number of characters at the end of a word.

Truncation is used when one wishes to find variants of a word. The question mark is used to truncate words.

For Example:


The search would find items with variant endings of the word e.g. rebellion, rebellions, rebellious, rebelliousness in the title.

It may also represent no character e.g. rebellion? would retrieve items with the word rebellion as well as rebellions.

Wild Cards



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Wild Cards are symbols which represent a single character in search string. As with truncation they may also represent no character. The # symbol is used to represent a wild card.
For Example:

The search above would retrieve items with the Canadian spelling of neighbour as well as the American neighbor. The wild card may also be used to search for plurals e.g. wom#n or election#.


Limiters



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Limiters allow you to restrict your search by language, place of publication, time period or type of material.

You must have at least one search term in the search template in order to use limiters. The template will not allow you to search, for example, for all the National Library's holdings in English without an added search parameter (e.g. a keyword from the title).

To limit by Date

After choosing a search term you may wish to limit by date. The default date operator will be "equal to". If you wish to retrieve items published only in a particular year, you would input a year and leave the default = sign as it is. If you wanted items published before 1984 the search would look like this:

Date:

Symbol key:

  • = equal to
  • < before
  • > after
  • <= before or equal to
  • >= after or equal to


To limit by Place of Publication:

Select a province or country from the drop-down menu. Not all countries are represented on this list for countries not listed you may wish to chose "Other".
Place of Publication:
The Language limiter allows you to limit to either French or English material.
Language:
The Material Type limiter allows limiting by several different material types to view the options simply click on the drop down arrow.
Material Type:

How do I find ...?

Theses



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Theses can be searched through keywords in the title or author fields. In order to limit your search to theses you must use the Advanced Search. Theses are not assigned subject headings so the best way to perform a search on a particular topic is to use title keywords

You then must chose "Theses" as a material type.
Material Type:

Newspapers



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Newspapers are not easy to locate within a bibliographic database. Please refer to our resource guides for Canadian newspapers.

Copyright © 1997 National Library of Canada.