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OCLC Support

Enter a numeric search

Discover how to enter a numeric search in Connexion client.


  • In the Command Line Search area, always precede the search term with an index label and punctuation (use a colon (:) for numbers or an equal sign (=) for number phrases).

    Exception: The index label and punctuation are optional for an ISBN search if it is the first or only search in the Command Line.
  • Enter all numbers and letters in all types of number searches, including ISBNs, government document numbers, and publisher numbers (formerly music publisher number).

    Exception: In the publisher number index, data within parentheses in a number is indexed separately. For example, the system treats the publisher number DKP (CD) 9040 as three separate words. To find the number, enter a word search— mn:dkp cd 9040. Entering a phrase search for the entire number string— mn=dkp cd 9040—does not work. Or you can combine each word as a phrase search using Boolean and or or—mn=dkp and mn=cd and mn=9040.

     Note: You must include the x if present in an ISBN.If you routinely enter ISBNs using the number keypad, you can continue to do so by typing the asterisk (*) on the keypad in place of the x to truncate the ISBN.

  • Omit spaces in numbers.
  • Class number searches
    • Include periods when searching for a Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library, Library and Archives Canada, National Library of Medicine, or Universal Decimal class number.
    • Delete all other punctuation.
    • Delete spaces.
      Example: To search for National Agricultural Library class number (ag:) A280.29, enter ag:a280.29 in the Command Line.


  • The OCLC number has been an 8-digit number; it now also includes 9-digit numbers. The first nine- digit number will be 100000000. The system automatically duplicates the OCLC number from field 001 in field 035 in all records output from the system.
  • As a result of expanding the ISBN to the new 13-digit format, when you take a final action on a record that contains an ISBN in only one format, 10-digit or 13- digit, Connexion automatically generates the other format. ISBNs are stored in 020 fields (repeatable field).

    Search for either the 10- or 13-digit number to retrieve the record.
  • See Technical Bulletin 253: ISBN and OCLC Number Changes for details and examples.

Select indexes and examples

The following table lists six of the most often used numeric indexes with index labels, examples, and guidelines:

Index label To find ... Enter command line... Enter guided search (Select index from list Guidelines
ISBN (bn:) 0-8247-7142-7 0824771427
(first or only search term)
(not first or only search term)
0824771427 Enter all numbers and x, if present.

Omit hyphen. Or
Hyphen is optional if using index label.

Index label is optional in Command Line search if ISBN is first or only search term.

The system identifies the following as ISBNs (with or without hyphens):
  • 1234567890
  • 123456789x
  • 123456789X
  • 1234567890123
(See note preceding this table about 13 digit ISBNs.)
0-85109-130-x 085109130x
(first or only search term) bn:085109130x
(not first or only search term)
ISSN (in:) 1234-5678 in:1234-5678 1234-5678 Always include hyphen.
0098-3527 in:0098-3527 0098-3527
0018-165x in:0018-165x 0018-165x
LCCN (ln:) map32-14 ln:32000014
Enter number with or without hyphen.

Omit leading zeros in serial number portion.

Include year portion (2 or 4 digits).
78-52051 ln:78-52051
2002-580246 ln:2002-580246
map32-14 ln:32000014
Government document number (gn:) A 1.2:R31/14/984 gn:a12r3114984 a12r3114984 Enter all numbers and letters.

Omit punctuation marks.
NAS 1.2:SP1/46 gn:nas12sp146 nas12sp146
OCLC control number (no:) 10998406 no:10998406
For Command Line search, precede number with index label and colon (:), asterisk (*), or number sign (#).

For Keyword/Numeric Search for box, optionally, enter with asterisk or number sign instead of selecting an index.
Publisher number (mn:) CO 1979-AB5- mn:co1979ab5 co1979ab5 Enter all numbers and letters.

Omit punctuation marks.
BBC 001 mn=bbc 001 bbc 001

(select Publisher Number Phrase index)
When searching the phrase index, include spaces in search term.

See an Exception note in the numeric search guidelines above. You must treat publisher numbers that have parenthetical data differently in constructing a search, since that data is
indexed separately.