Friday, March 13, 2009

Firstsearch Hands-on exercise

I. Logon system from

II. Selecting a database.
1. Do a “keyword” search in the Search for box by entering: horse breeding. Use the drop-down menu from the In: box to select General.
2. Press the Search button to view the results.
3. The resulting display provides a list of databases listed in order of the estimated number of records matching the query. Users may select from one to a maximum of three of the databases in which to do the actual search. Select PerAbs and ReadersGuideAbs then click on the Select button. You will be taken to the “Advanced Search” screen. In the Search box horse breeding is filled in as a keyword search. Click on the Search button and view the results.
4. Click on “Databases”, then on Suggest Best Databases. In addition to Keyword, items can be searched from this screen by Author and Source. Type Successful Farming in the Must Contain box and select General from the drop down menu. Select the radio button for Source. Click on List. View results. Click the hyperlink for PerAbs. With horse breeding as Keyword and successful farming as Source, click on Search and view the results.

III. Advanced search screen
1. Click on Home on the Navigation menu and select the WorldCat database from the line above the navigation tabs.
2. Do a keyword search in WorldCat on the terms campaign finance reform and view the results.
3. Repeat the search, but this time select “Relevance” from the Rank by drop down box at the bottom of the page. How do the results differ from the previous search?
4. Limit the previous results to “Sound Recordings” and “Archival” materials.
5. Perform a title search on library science limited to Internet resources. (Don’t forget to deselect previous limits.)
6. Perform an author search on Pierre Berton limited to juvenile works.
7. Try out the following in Advanced Search mode:

What has been written about Thomas Hardy’s use of folklore in his stories?
Our library needs to enhance its collection of recent books on stem cells. Find only items with this year’s publication date.
Is there a new edition of The Essential Ellison? (Use the Sort feature. Descending sorts most recent first.)

IV. Searching multiple databases

1. Click on List All Databases link in the Databases menu.
2. Click on the Clear button to clear any currently selected databases. Select the ArticleFirst, PerAbs, and WilsonSelectPlus databases by clicking in the appropriate checkboxes and clicking on the Select button.
3. Click on the Clear button to clear the previous searches. Perform a keyword search for whitewater rafting.
4. Browse through the results list. Note that the results are grouped by database, and that the same record may turn up more than once in your list.
5. To sort the results (and to bring duplicate records together) click on the Sort icon.
6. Sort the results by title Ascending and increase the Record List Size to 100. Click on Set to view the results.
7. Sort the results by title descending.

V. Record retrieval
1. To perform a search in the WorldCat database, on the Navigation menu select Basic Search under Searching. Use the drop down box in “Search in database” to switch to WorldCat. Do the keyword whitewater rafting search again.
2. Click on one of the titles to view the bibliographic record.
3. To format the record for printing, click on the Print icon. Note that in order to print, you still must use the print function on your browser. (Cancel the print command.)
4. Click on the Return to return to the bibliographic record.
5. Click on the Libraries icon for information on library holdings.
6. Click on the Return icon to return to the bibliographic record.
7. Click on List of Records. To view more than one record at a time, you can mark records by clicking the appropriate check box. Mark a few records and then click on Marked Records on the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on Detailed if you wish to view the full records.

VI. More searching
1. To open the Advanced Search screen, click on Searching, then click on Advanced Search.
2. If you are not already in the WorldCat databases, open it.
3. Search for Life on the Mississippi. Try the search as a title and select Document Type Books and Language English. Note how many records are retrieved.
4. Repeat the search now using the title phrase index. How do these results differ from the previous search?
5. Click Options on the Navigation Menu and select Sort By: Number of Libraries Descending and add your email address. Click on Set and view the results.
6. Try out these searches using an advanced search:
a. What books by Philip K. Dick were reprinted by the Gregg Science Fiction series?
b. Which Stephen King books on tape or CD are in Spanish?
c. What titles has Goldengrove Press published?

VII. Previous searches
1. To view your search history, click on Previous Searches in the Results menu.
2. Select your keyword search for Campaign Finance Reform, enter Haddock in the Search for: box, select AND under Combine Using: and click Search/Combine.
3. To run a previous search in a new database, click on Previous Searches, select the keyword search for Campaign Finance Reform, enter Haddock in the Search for: box, select AND under In: box. Click “Search/Combine”. View the detailed records.

VIII. Limiting a search
1. Perform a search from the “Advanced Search screen” in Worldcat for Planet of the Apes.
2. Click on the Related Authors icon. Check Ricardo Montalbán and click Search. Combine this search with the previous search on Planet of the Apes.
3. Perform a keyword search for Pot-Bellied Pig.
4. Click on the Related Subjects icon and select Pot Bellied Pigs as Pets.

IX. Browse index and subject headings
1. In Worldcat, enter Interior Design in the Advanced Search screen as a Keyword search.
2. Click on the Index icon to the right.
3. Observe the results. Note that the keyword index is not a phrase index, and so the word design is ignored.
4. Change the index to Subject phrase using the pull-down menu.
5. Click on the Browse button and observe the results.
6. Click on the Return icon.
7. Click on the Subjects icon.
8. Enter interior design in the Word or concept box and click on
9. Click on Expand to see more subject headings. Click on one of the headings to perform a search on that heading.

X. Additional searching techniques
1. Return to the Advanced Search screen. (Tip: Select the WilsonSelectPlus database for these exercises.)
2. Perform a keyword search for garden compost. Note the number of records retrieved.
3. Try a keyword search using the query (gardens or gardening) and (compost or composting). Note the number of records retrieved.
4. Try the searching again using the *truncation symbol garden* and compost*. This search will include all words that begin with garden or compost (gardening, gardener, composting, etc.)
5. Try the above search with an additional keyword or two, using either the * truncation symbol or the + plural symbol. Suggestions: vegetable+ (searches for vegetable and vegetables), flower+ (searches for flower or flowers, but not flowering, flowered, etc.), flower* (searches for all words beginning with flower).
6. You can use the ? and # wildcards to search for irregular plurals or for variant spellings. The # represents a single character and the ? represents from zero to any number of additional characters (up to nine). Try the search women and labor. Note the number of records retrieved. Try the search again using wildcards:
wom#n and labo?r
7. Proximity operators can help narrow a search and can also be used to search for particular phrases. Try these searches:
libraries and computer+
libraries n3 computer+
war and peace
war w1 peace

XI. Expert search
The Expert Search screen is designed for users who prefer a command-line interface. Try some of these sample searches in Worldcat or make up some of your own:
ti=wind in the willows
ti=”war and peace” and au: tolstoy
su=horse racing and kw:saratoga

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