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OCLC Support

Learner guide: Connexion client 2 - Bibliographic searching

Course overview

This course provides instructions on how to use Connexion client to perform searches for bibliographic records in the WorldCat database.  After completing this class, you will be able to conduct searches for bibliographic records in WorldCat and evaluate whether a given record matches the item to be cataloged. 

 Note: This learner guide is designed to accompany the Connexion client 2: Bibliographic searching course.

Gettting started with searching 

Options available on the menu bar: 

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated  Graphical user interface, application, Word

Description automatically generated

or use selected default keystroke shortcuts in Connexion client

  • Search WorldCat:  <F2>  

  • Browse WorldCat: <CTRL> + <F2>  

General guidelines

  • The Quick Search box on the toolbar and the Command Line search in the Search WorldCat box are equivalent.  

  • When using the Command Line search, use index labels with search terms.    

  • The Keyword/Numeric search offers guided searching with the ability to choose indexes from the drop-down lists.  

  • Indexes that display in the Keyword/Numeric search can be customized to include frequently used indexes or to display the complete alphabetical list of indexes with their labels. 

Choose the best search

When searching the WorldCat database, consider: 

  • What information is available? 

  • Do you have the item in hand or are you ordering the item? 

  • Does the item have a number, such as an ISBN, ISSN, etc.? 

  • If there isn’t a number, what else can you search by? 

  • How easy is it to determine author, title, publisher, etc.?

  • Almost always: try a number search first. 

Basic MARC fields for matching

Field Description Contains
245 Title Statement

‡a Title Proper             

‡b Remainder of Title 

‡c Statement of Responsibility  

250 Edition Statement ‡a Edition Statement 
260 or 264 Publication, Production, Distribution, etc. 

‡a Place of Publication 

‡b Publisher 

‡c Date of Publication 


Physical Description

‡a Extent 

‡b Other Physical Details 

‡c Dimensions 


Search Connexion client

Numeric searches 

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) 

The index label, bn: is optional 

  • Remove dashes (e.g., enter 1-5654-556-2 as 156545562) 
  • Include X in final digit if present (e.g., enter 0-590-42057-X as 059042057X)  

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) 

Use index label in: 

  • Include hyphen (e.g., enter 0363-0277 as 0363-0277)  
  • Include X in final digit (e.g., enter 2265-564X as 2265-564X)   

OCLC Number 

Use * or # or index label no: 

  • OCLC numbers do not have punctuation  
  • Displays after OCLC in Connexion  
  • Exported in 001 and 035 fields 

Keyword/Numeric searching

Search Options

 Retain search   

  • Select this option so the client keeps search terms, indexes, and Boolean operators  
  • If un-selected, the client keeps only your last index selections and up to the last ten search terms you entered (click the dropdown arrow in a text box to see this list) 

Customize lists button   

  • Open the Customize Short Lists window to customize the short list of indexes or material types. 

Plus/Minus buttons       

  • Toggle between a short list of commonly used indexes or material types, and a complete list of these indexes or material types. 

Language of Cataloging Limiter  

  • Identify the language for those portions of the record that, according to cataloging instructions, appear in the language of the cataloging agency.  This is not necessarily the language of the resource. 

Commonly used keyword (:) and phrase (=) indexes.

See Searching WorldCat Indexes  for additional indexes.

Index keyword (:) phrase (=)  index keyword (:) phrase (=)
Name (author) au: au= Series Series se=
Corporate/Conference Name cn: cn= Subject su: su=
Notes nt:   Title Title ti=
Personal Name pn: pn= Uniform title Uniform title ut=

Indexes best used in combination with others

index label index label
holding library li: publisher pb:
cataloging source cs: publisher location pl:

Qualify and combine searches

Qualify keyword and derived searches to narrow the results or make the searches more precise. 

  • Material type (mt:) 
  • Year(s) of publication (yr:) 
  • Microform or not microform (mf:) 
  • Cataloging source (Library of Congress) (dl:) 
  • Internet/non-Internet (dt:) 
  • Language (la:) 
  • Language of cataloging description (ll:) 

Phrase searching

Phrase searches (=) 

Index ends with = 

  • Enter multiple words in order from beginning of first subfield  
  • Enter all data from subfield or truncate with an asterisk *  

Whole phrase searches (w=) 

Index ends with w= 

  1. Enter phrase in order from beginning of first subfield of an indexed field, include all words from subsequent subfields  
  2. Enter all data from field or truncate with an asterisk (*)  

Phrase (ti=) or whole phrase (tiw=) searches for titles  

  • Omit initial articles (a, an, the) and equivalents in other languages 

Phrase or whole phrase searches for personal names  

  • (au=  auw=  pn=  pnw= ) 
  • Enter last name first 
  • Include comma between last name and first name: example: pn=crutcher, chris
  • If entering birth/death dates, omit comma preceding date : example: auw=smith, joe 1902-1937
  • Use truncation symbol (*) if unsure of middle initial, dates in name example: pnw=churchill, winston 1874*) 

Browse Connexion client

Go to Cataloging > Browse > WorldCat  or use <CTRL> + <F2>

  • Browse with phrase or whole phrase indexes only (index ends with = or w=) 
  • Matches search terms left to right 
  • Truncation is automatic  
  • No qualifiers  

Browse results:  

  • List shows 25 entries that closely match terms entered 
  • Number of matching records for each entry 
  • Item that most closely matches is highlighted 
  • To display next set of 25 entries: Press <Page Down>      
  • To display previous set of 25 entries: Press <Page Up> 

Additional information


We look forward to seeing you in the next class!