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Tips for keyword searches

Find tips for performing authority record keyword searches in Connexion client.

Tips cover save file keyword searches and LC authority file keyword searches

The following tips cover combining search terms and statuses, finding variants of search terms, and finding singular and plural terms.

Tips apply to keyword searches in bibliographic and authority save files, both online and local, and to LC authority file keyword/numeric searches, depending on the various search parameters in each search dialog.

See Search WorldCat interactively for specific information about using truncation, wildcards, and plural endings for WorldCat Searches.

Combine search terms in one index

To search for multiple terms in one index, enter all terms and Boolean operators in one Search for field in the Search dialog for the type of save file you are searching.

To find records that ... Enter ... Example
Contain all specified multiple terms (and) [term 1] [term 2]
[term 1] and [term 2]

A space between terms is treated as an and.
transportation safety

gaudier and brzeska
Contain at least one of the specified multiple terms (or) [term 1] or [terms 2] radiography or radiology
Do not contain one or more specified terms (not) [term 1] not [term 2]
[term 1] or [term 2] not [term 3]
college education not elementary

brzeska not gaudier
Contain one or more groups of terms
combined with other terms (terms grouped in parentheses)
[term 1] ([term 2] or [term 3])
[term 1] or ([term 2] or [term
3]) [term 1] or ([term 2] [term 3])
clinical (trial* or research)

Combine search terms in multiple indexes

To search for single terms in more than one index, enter each term in separate Search for fields in the Search dialog for the save file you want to search and combine by selecting a Boolean operator and an index from the Search dialog lists.

Boolean operator Retrieves Example
AND Only records that contain both terms For online authority save file:

food (topical index) AND Smith (personal name index)
OR Records that contain at least one of the terms For online bibliographic save file:

universities (title index) OR 20040707 (used date index)
NOT Records that do not contain the term For local bibliographic save file:

persuasion (title index) NOT austen (name index)

Combine statuses

  • Combining status criteria with AND narrows the search. The system retrieves only records that each contain all specified status values:
    • You can AND status values of different types. Use more than one status box in a save file search dialog to search for records with a specific statuses.
      Example: In the Search Online Bibliographic Save File dialog: Workflow: New AND Source: Imported AND Action: Validate Completed
    • You can AND action status values to search for records on which you have taken various actions. Select Action Status in two or three list boxes and then select a different action name for each.
      Example: In the Search Local Authority Save File dialog: Action: Add Completed AND Action: Esport Completed
    • You retrieve no records if you try to AND multiple values for the same action category (for example, Export Failed AND Export Completed retrieves no records). A record can have only one value for each action.
    • You retrieve no records if you try to AND multiple values for workflow status or source status (for example, Extracted AND Derived retrieves no records). A record can have only one value for each of these status types.
  • Combining status criteria with OR broadens the search. The system retrieves records that contain any of the specified status values:
    • You can search for records with at least one of two or three possible values for different status types.
      Example: In the Search Local Bibliographic Save File dialog: Workflow: New OR Source: Derived OR Action: Validate Completed
    • You can OR two or three possible values for the same status type. Select the same status type in two or three list boxes, select OR as the operator, and then select the status values.
      Example: In the Search Online Bibliographic Save File dialog: Source: Workform OR Source: Imported
  • Always use AND to combine Record Locked status with any other search criteria, limiting results to locked records that also match other specified terms, statuses, etc.

Find variant word endings or spellings

Use the truncation symbol (*) and character masking (wildcard) symbols (? or #) to include variant or unknown endings or spellings of a word in a search.

 Note: You must precede wildcard symbols (? and #) by at least three characters.

Technique Search format and example
(find variant endings)
Use truncation when you want to expand a term to include variant endings or know only the first part of a term.

Enter the first characters of the term, including as many characters as variant terms have in common (include at least three characters), then enter an asterisk (*).

  • librar* (retrieves library, libraries, librarian, etc.)
  • comput* (retrieves computer, computerized, computers, etc.)
  • catalog* (retrieves cataloging, cataloger, catalogue, etc.)
Character masking (wild cards)
(find variant spellings)
Use character masking (wildcards) when you want to expand a term to include variant spellings or are unsure of the correct spelling for part of a term.

Enter a question mark (?) or a number sign (#) in place of the character(s) you want to mask. You must precede the question mark or number sign by at least three characters.
  • The question mark (?) retrieves variants of 0 or more characters.
    • psych?y (retrieves psychology, psychiatry, psychobiology, etc.)
    • col?r (retrieves color or colour)
    • int?net (retrieves internet or intranet)
  • The number sign (#) retrieves variants of one character.
    • wom#n (retrieves woman, women)
    • str#ng (retrieves strong, string, strang)

Find singular or plural terms

The system does not automatically search for the singular form of a word when you enter only the plural form or vice versa. To find both forms of a word using one search, enter both singular and plural forms combined with OR in one text field to retrieve records with either form.


  • system or systems
  • catalog or catalogs