Guest Post by Jean Anderson
Wow - what an email conversation we're having about searching in LINKcat. Thanks to all for your tips and tricks to find what we need until the system works the way we want. In this first post on searching, I thought I'd compile all your suggestions into this post so they're all in one place and easier to find.
As a library patron (yes, I'm one too), who does a lot of searching on LINKcat for my personal To Be Read list (the link is to my LibraryThing list) I've been frustrated with the search function, too. As Vicki noted in her email, searching is at the top of the list of problems we're working on. The problem is in relevancy ranking - we're not sure why braille and foreign langauge titles are rising to the top. We've reported this to PTFS and are working on it.
In the meantime, here are your suggestions:
Dennis: Using Advanced Search limits will help you narrow your search.Examples:
- Title = Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; -2005 in publication date; Fiction books (subtype limit) yielded 10 results with the English version at the bottom of the list
- Title = Wimpy Kid; 2010 - in publication date; Fiction books (subtype limit) yielded 7 results with the English version at the bottom of the list
Vicki: While there isn't a way to limit to just books due to the way cataloging is formated, you can limit to books in the Advanced Search - as Dennis mentioned above - use Fiction or Non-fictoin books under the Subtype limits for content.
Amy: Searching for Wimpy Kid in the Series search option in the public LINKcat or Series Title on the Advances Search screen yields 13 results - including Wimpy Kid 5.
Carolyn suggests limiting the results to your library (if you know your library owns a copy). It doesn't work for everything, but is an option for some searches.
From Alice, Chris, Kylie, Dennis, and Maggie: search Amazon, WorldCat, or other source for the title then copy (Control +C) the ISBN and paste (Control + V) it into the search box (love this tip!). While there is an ISBN search from the drop down menus in both basic and advanced search, you simply paste the ISBN into the keyword field and go. Dennis notes that you can also right-click on the ISBN and copy it and that this doesn't work quite as well with the 13-digit ISBNs which are hyphenated.
Janis notes that using the Title search instead of the keyword and searching for Wimpy Kid 5 comes up with two results. Sometimes, it's as easy as switching the type of search you're conducting.
Jane and Leah incorporate advanced search techniques into the basic keyword searching. Try this:
- Enter ti: confession and au: grisham into the search box OR enter confession by grisham and you'll get similar results (I got 21 when I did the second search and the book is #8)
If you like the search operators (ti, au, etc.) we'll get a list of them up on the FAQ soon - from Amy. Update: the list is here.
Sandra uses the Title Phrase search in the Advanced Search options and notes that it has cut down the number of results.
Thanks for all your tips! Keep them coming - comments are open.
I'll be updating the FAQ with your suggestions next and will update this post with links where needed.