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WorldCat: Discover Information at the MJC Library

Learn to use the library's discovery tool to search for books, videos, magazines, and reserve items at MJC and around the world.

Expert Searching

You can do an expert search on either the basic or advanced search screen. Instead of selecting indexes from dropdown menus, as in an advanced search, you will type index labels followed by search times, for example:

ti:overdiagnosed pn:welch ln:eng mt:bks

This expression will search for a record:

  • containing the word overdiagnosed somewhere in a title field
  • containing the name Welch in a personal name field, where the author's name will appear
  • in English
  • with a material type (format) of book

You will not remember the abbreviations for the index labels unless you do a lot of searching in WorldCat. This table will familiarize you with some of them. The typical library user will not need to know these labels.

index labels

Search Results

This is a search for items located in the reference collection with a subject of psychology.

Expert search using b8

When To Use = Instead of :

In some of the indexes, you can use an equal sign (=) rather than a colon (:) after the abbreviation. The equal sign indicates that you are searching for an exact phrase.

So a search for ti=picture of dorian gray will find results that contain that exact phrase, including Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray;  a book, The Oscar Wilde Collection, that includes Dorian Gray and three more of Wilde's works; and articles about the novel. 

Let's assume you cannot remember the exact title of the novel, but you recall it contained the words "gray" and "picture." Ti=gray picture will NOT work because the order of the words is not correct. But a search for ti:gray picture WILL discover the book you want as it pulls up all items in the catalog that contain the words "gray" and "picture" somewhere in a title index. The search results will also display irrelevant results such as The Works of Walt Whitman because it contains one poem with the word "gray" in its title and another with the word "picture" in its title.

The equal sign can be difficult to use. If you aren't discovering what you expect, switch to the colon for more results.

You can use the equal sign with the indexes au, ge, gc, ln, mt, pn, pb, su, and ut.