1. The default search on WorldCat is keyword. WorldCat assumes "and" between individual words in the search, and looks for records with the words appearing in many elements of the record, in any order: titles, authors, subjects, contents notes, identification numbers, etc. For example, "snow white" yields results displayed in this order:
The Juniper tree, and other tales by Grimm
White snow, bright snow
The art of Walt Disney: from Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms
2. Phrase searching, or words in that exact order. Phrase searching is is possible by enclosing the phrase with quotation marks, such as "transfer student orientation" or "history of music." WorldCat looks for records with that phrase anywhere in the area being searched, and not only as the first words of the area searched. See examples in table below and notice where "sustainable building" occurs at the beginning or elsewhere in the field.
3. Truncation: part of a word. Use an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?) to truncate your
(compare with search "biological methods")
4. Results are shown in order of assumed relevancy, and are not in alphabetical order by title or author. Relevancy ranking is based on the following, emphasizing a higher relevancy for
more recently published items
proximity, i.e. the words occur close to each other
items with more libraries owning it
the words occuring in targeted, or more important fields, such as authors, titles, and subjects
5. Advanced Searching is available to search specific elements of information: Author, Title, Subject, or Numbers (ISBN, ISSN, or OCLC). Advanced Searching by ISBN, ISSN or OCLC Number is a very useful way to
find a known item that is difficult to retrieve by a keyword search
(items with short titles, or common words).
Example of a search using Advanced Search to search Titles only
|Title: sustainable building
|Title: "sustainable building"
|Building sustainable peace
Building a sustainable society
Towards sustainable building
Assessing for learning: building a sustainable ...
|Towards sustainable building
A primer on sustainable building
Sustainable building is escalating
Living green: a practical guide to ...
Plusminus 20°/40° latitude : sustainable ...
Greening McKim, Mead & White ...
Sustainable building design manual
Items at the patron's institution may not show up on
that first display. Holdings for the record in the first display are
for that specific edition or version. Holdings for other editions or
versions -- including for the patron's own library -- may show up only
after selecting "View all editions"
When viewing all editions and formats, use the facets in the left pane
to limit (by language, format, etc). Results are sorted by newest
publication date, but this can be changed to oldest publication date.
More on searching for other editions and formats