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OCLC Support

Work with search results

Discover how to work with search results in, including sorting, refining, and saving your search results.


The image below is an example of the search results screen. After you search for a record (using a basic or advanced search), any search results matching the terms you entered will display. From the search results screen, you can perform different actions.

Top of the Search Results screen

Bottom of the Search Results screen

1. Facets

Use the facets to filter your results by Open Content, Format, Author/Creator, Language, Content Type, Publication Year, Audience, and/or Subject.

 Note: Only facet categories relevant to your search query appear with your results.

Filter results with facets

To filter your results:

  1. Select a facet category.
  2. Select the check box next to the filter(s) you want to apply in the category. Results filter automatically.
  3. (Optional) Repeat steps 1 and 2 for additional facet categories.
    • When you select a filter, all subfilters are automatically selected.
    • All filters are applied to your search using AND and OR logic (e.g., selecting Article updates your search to [original search query] AND (Article OR Downloadable Article), as the Article filter has a Downloadable Article subfilter.).

Remove facets

To remove a selected facet:

  • Click the selected check box to deselect it.
  • Click reset to remove filter(s) selected for the category.
  • Click Clear Filters to remove all selected filters.

Retain facets

Select Retain Filters to apply selected facets to subsequent searches in a session

2. Results

  • The number of results you receive and your place in the results list appears at the top of the results list.

3. Sort by

Use the options in the Sort by drop-down list to determine how your search results are sorted.

Sort option Behavior
Favorite Libraries Sorts based on your selected favorite libraries with items held by your favorite libraries listed first.
  • This option is only available if you are signed in to
  • It is not available on the WorldCat Find app.
Location Sorts based on your location with closest items listed first.
Best Match Blends Title, Author, Date, and Worldwide Holdings with an emphasis placed on Title.
Most Widely Held Presents an "unclustered" view of search results with an emphasis on Worldwide Holdings in a blend of Date, Title, and Author. Use this sort option to view the best results for interlibrary loan requests.
Date (Most Recent) Sorts chronologically by publication year with newest items listed first.
Date (Least Recent) Sorts chronologically by publication year with oldest items listed first.
Title (A-Z) Sorts by special characters, then alphabetically by Title. Only the article "the" is ignored.
Author (A-Z) Sorts by special characters or numbers in the first name, then A to Z by last name.

4. Search results

The Search Results screen provides an item overview for each record in the results list. The item overview contains the following information:

  • Title - Click the title to view the Item Details screen for the item.
  • Author/Authors - Click the name of an author to view additional works by the author.
  • Summary - Click Show More to view the entire item summary.
  • Item format and publication year (e.g., eBook: 2008)
  • Language of the item

Image display in

OCLC does not load cover art for individual titles due to the large volume of titles covered in WorldCat, but instead we load large files from a variety of providers, with whom we have contractual relationships.

Titles that do not include cover art will show the default images below.

Cover art default icons
Format facet in Cover art default icon
Book Format facet book icon
Audiobook Format facet audiobook icon
Article, Chapter Format facet article,chapter icon
Archival Material Format facet archival materials icon
Music Format facet music icon
Musical Score Format facet musical score icon
Video Format facet video icon
Toy Format facet toy icon
Image Format facet image icon
Visual Material Format facet visual material icon
Map Format facet map icon
Journal, Magazine Format facet journal, magazine icon
Newspaper Format facet newspaper icon
Interactive Multimedia Format facet interactive multimedia icon
Computer File Format facet computer file icon
Kit Format facet kit icon
Object Format facet object icon
Website Format facet website icon
Encyclopedia Article Format facet encyclopedia article icon

View thumbnails from digital repositories synced through WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway

Collections from CONTENTdm and other OAI-PMH compliant digital repositories which have been synced through WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway will display a thumbnail image in the brief results and detailed view in WorldCat Discovery.  For more information on syncing your collection, see Digital Collection Gateway.

 Note: CONTENTdm sites automatically include a thumbnail.  If you are using a different OAI-PMH compliant repository, see Use the Digital Collection Gateway, Add a thumbnail image for more information.

Digital repository Required fields/subfields to display thumbnail in WorldCat Discovery 
  • 856 y contains the text thumbnail image of
  • 856 u contains a URL
  • 1st indicator is 4
  • 2nd indicator is 0

WorldCat Discovery will use the URL in the 856 u to display as the thumbnail.
Other OAI-PMH compliant digital repositories
  • 856 3 contains the text thumbnail image of
  • 856 u contains a URL
  • URLs must be https
  • 1st indicator is 4
  • 2nd indicator is 0

WorldCat Discovery will use the URL in the 856 u to display as the thumbnail.

5. Open Access

If an Open Access version exists for an item, the Access Free button will appear below the item overview. Click Access Free to view the item in a new tab.

6. Formats & Editions

If there are other formats and/or editions of the item available, they will appear below the item overview.

  • Click a format (e.g., ebook) to view the Item Details screen for that format.
  • Click Formats & Editions to view all available formats and editions for an item. An Editions screen opens displaying all available editions and formats. Click an edition title to view the Item Details screen for that edition.
    • The Editions screen allows you to sort the available editions and formats by:
      • Most Widely Held (default)
      • Date (Most Recent)
      • Date (Least Recent)

        The Year column displays date of publication subfield data from fields 260 or 264 subfield $c of your bibliographic record. Both Year sort options look at the data in field 008/7-10. If no data is present in field 008/7-10, some items may appear out of order by date.

        Example - When selecting either Year sort option, an item that has a publication date of 2016 but an undefined field 008/7-10 will appear beneath an item that has a publication of 2015 and a defined field 008/7-10 that matches the data in 260 or 264 $c.

See format/document type values and codes for more information about formats.

7. Results

If your search returns more than 10 results, the number of results per page drop-down list and page navigation buttons appear at the bottom of the results list.

  • Select a number from the Results per page drop-down list to change the number of results you see per page. By default, 10 results are displayed at a time.
  • If there is more than one page of results, use the navigation buttons to move between pages.