How to Use WorldCat


WorldCat is a massive catalogue that you can
use to search the collections of libraries
throughout the world, and contains over 2 billion items. The vast majority of these resources will not be at
the University of Toronto, but if you find an item in
WorldCat that you want try copying down the bibliographic information,
and ordering it for free through our interlibrary
loan program RACER, which we will talk about in our next video. To access WorldCat from the University of
Toronto homepage, hover over “Research” choose “Other library catalogues.” You have two options. The “Public Version,” which does not have as
much functionality or electronic resources, and the “U of T only” version, which gives you full
access. So, let’s choose the “U of T Only” version and get
started. WorldCat gives you options, so you can better
control your search. The dropdown fields allow you to tell WorldCat
how to interpret the words you want it to search
for. Some major choices you might want to use are
“Keyword.” You might also want to use “Author,” including
“Author Phrase,” which allows you to search for
an exact author. You could also try using “Title” or “Title Phrase,”
which allows you to search for an exact title. Make sure you use key terms, rather than long
phrases. You can use the asterisk sign as
truncation, to net all iterations of the term. For instance, with “mystic,” “mystics” or
“mysticism.” Connect your terms using the boolean operators
AND, OR, NOT AND will combine terms. OR will tell WorldCat that you will take any of the
terms. NOT will exclude terms completely. You can also limit your search by “Format.” For instance, if you want books, or articles or just
internet resources. Let’s try some searches! Let’s try a subject
search. Let’s imagine that we are interested in the
subjects of mysticism, saints, and dhikr. We type “mystic” with the asterisk, to retrieve all
forms of the word, and we’ll do the same with
“saint.” And finally, we’ll add “dhikr.” Let’s imagine that “mysticism” is the main
concept. So, we’re going to tell it to search by
“Title,” to make sure that “mystic” or “mysticism” are in
each of the titles that we search for. All of the titles are linked by AND, meaning that
any results must contain all three terms. Let’s also try limiting our search to books and
internet resources. WorldCat has found us six results. Two of these
are electronic resources. So we could potentially open those now and start
reading, but let’s look at one of the print books “Keys to the Divine Kingdom” We can browse the contents of this book, and if it
seems interesting, we would click “Libraries
worldwide that own item.” In this case, we can see that Wilfrid Laurier has a
copy. Wilfrid Laurier participates in RACER, so we
could then search RACER for the item and have it
shipped to the University of Toronto. We will talk more about accessing and using
RACER in the video entitled “Interlibrary Loan at
U of T.” We can also search for journals. Let’s imagine that we want the journal article
“Medieval Travellers,” which was published in volume 19 of the Review
of Japanese Culture & Society in 2007. Let’s search for the journal name by changing the
field to “title phrase,” and limiting our search to
“serial publications.” At the results page, we want to open up the entry
showing the largest number of holding libraries. We need to take one extra step with journals by
checking to make sure that the library has the
volume of the journal that we need. Sometimes, journals might be missing certain
volumes. In this case, it appears that Michigan State has
all of the volumes published since 1986. So, this would mean that they would have volume
19 from 2007. Therefore, we could try to order this item through
interlibrary loan, RACER! And that’s it! It is worth repeating that WorldCat
works best in conjunction with our interlibrary
loan system RACER. And RACER can take weeks to retrieve you the
items that you want, so get started early! Stay tuned for the next video on interlibrary loan
and RACER

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