Skip to main content
OCLC Support

Guidelines and tips for browsing (index scanning)

Find guidelines and tips for browsing (index scanning) in Connexion client.
  • When you browse for a term, the system scans a WorldCat index (see a partial list in Selected browsable indexes) for the exact term you enter.
  • Title phrase indexes - Both the Title Whole Phrase (tiw=) and Title Phrase (ti=) indexes include subfields in MARC field 245. However, the Title Whole Phrase index excludes 245 b, and the Title Phrase index includes 245 b.
    • Use the Title Whole Phrase index to browse for a title proper, or cataloger- constructed title access point. The index includes subfields a, n, and p (but not b) in field 245.
    • Use the Title Phrase indexto browse for title/subtitle combinations. The index includes subfields a and b of field 245.
  • When browsing a phrase or whole phrase index, begin the term with the first word in a field or subfield (excluding initial articles).
  • When browsing a word index, you are not limited to the first word. A word index scan can match a word that appears in any position within an indexed field or subfield.
  • Browsing provides automatic truncation. You do not need to enter all words when browsing for a phrase, nor do you need to use the truncation symbol.
    • Include enough characters or words to distinguish the browse term you want from similar terms.
    • Example: To browse for the title Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, in the Browse for box, you can enter tiw=let us now praise fam.
  • If you are unsure of an exact browse term, use keyword searching instead of browsing.
  • For browsing, you cannot use common techniques for search precision or expansion, such as qualifiers, truncation, character masking, plural stemming, or combining terms.
  • Include up to 60 letters, numbers, spaces, and these characters: ( ) # &.
     Note: Include the comma in a personal name browse term. Include the period in a classification number.
  • Except for a personal name term, include hyphens, or omit them and substitute a space.
  • Omit initial articles (a, an, the, and non-English initial articles) from phrase searches.
  • If a term has special characters (for example, percent sign (%), ampersand (&), and non-English characters), enter, omit, or substitute as described in Searching WorldCat Indexes.
  • If you copy the text of a term from a record and paste it into the Browse for box (Browse WorldCat window) or into the Command Line Search box (Search WorldCat window), remove delimiters, subfield codes, and punctuation (except commas in personal names and periods in class numbers).

See Search WorldCat interactively for more about word, phrase, and whole phrase indexes.