Access to the records within this database is provided via two separate information retrieval mechanisms, a Search page and a Browse page:
- The Search page allows you to perform full text searches of the bibliographic data and book reviews within the database.
- The Browse page provides you with the ability to create several types of browse lists that also can be used to access records in the database.
If you are just starting to experiment with this database, we suggest that you begin by stepping through the tutorials. By following the tutorials, you will quickly become proficient in this new information retrieval service.
Further details concerning specific database search procedures are provided in the following topics:
Word Search Procedures
The CLCD uses a relevancy-ranking search engine to retrieve and display the results of search requests. The search engine evaluates "relevance" not only by the number of occurrences of the search words within each record but also on the basis of the proximity of the search words to one another and on the significance of the fields within which the words are found. For example, records where all of the search words appear in the title are given greater weight than those where all of the search words appear in other fields in the record.
To initiate a search, the simplest approach is to enter one or more words into the Word Search field and click the SEARCH button. The best search strategy, generally speaking, is to enter a short phrase that represents a specific concept (e.g., days of the week). Alternately, you may wish to type in one or more terms that are commonly associated with the subject. A single term, if it is not too common, frequently will produce good search results. However, a search using a common term such as "dogs" will return a large number of records. To narrow such a search, include another term related to the specific concept you are interested in (such as "hunting").
Searches also can be narrowed by restricting the word search to exact word matches, limiting the search to items in a specific genre, or limiting the search to items from a specific author, publisher, publication date range, or language. Procedures for narrowing or broadening a search are discussed in the following topics.
Word Search Qualifiers
Several qualifiers are provided for customizing the method used to perform the word search. In that regard:
- The word search, by default, includes both singular and plural forms of the search words entered. The word search can be made narrower by limiting the search to the exact words as entered, or to the exact phrase as entered. Alternately, the word search can be made broader by including word variants generated by a word stemmer and a table of synonyms. Click the radio button for the specific option desired, or accept the default.
- In addition, the word search defaults to selecting records containing all of the words specified in the word search field. The number of records selected can be increased by clicking on the option to select records containing any of the words.
- Finally, the word search defaults to searching all of the text fields included in the records. However, it also can be directed to search one specific field, including subject headings, author/illustrator names, ISBNs, titles, annotations, reviews, and reviewer names. Again, click the radio button for the specific field desired, or accept the default to search all fields.
As previously mentioned, the ISBN field may be used to select records based on the International Standard Book Number, a unique identifier for a specific book title. Because this is a unique number, it will frequently be entered without specifying any other search words. When searching for a specific ISBN, do not enter the hyphens that are normally printed as part of the number. Multiple ISBN numbers can be entered but there must be a blank space between each ten digit string. We recommended that you enter no more than ten at a time, to reduce frustration if you made a keying error.
Common words such as "a", "an", and "the" are included on a "stop word" list supplied to the search engine. Such words are ignored whenever a word search is performed. Also, to optimize performance, the maximum number of records that will be retrieved in a search defaults to 1000. This limit can be changed to a larger number when necessary.
A search can be further restricted by selecting a specific category of books (fiction or nonfiction) and one or more genre. In that regard:
- The category qualifier defaults to including both fiction and nonfiction books in the search. Clicking the radio button for fiction will restrict the search to only books so cataloged, and clicking the radio button for nonfiction will select only books that have not been cataloged as fiction.
- To select a specific genre, click on the selection box that precedes the genre name, which will place a checkmark in the box. Several genre may be selected for inclusion within a specific search.
If none of the selection boxes for genre have been checked, then all genre will be included in the search. NOTE: The genre selection capability is linked to the information provided in the cataloging records. At this time the picture book genre is not available.
A search can also be further restricted by specifying other qualifiers, such as age, language, author/illustrator name, publisher name, and publication date. Qualifiers are used to limit the search based on the specific words or parameters that appear in specific qualifier fields. Although searches will most frequently be performed based on words and phrases entered in the Word Search field, searches can be initiated based on only on words entered in the qualifier fields. In that regard:
- The Age qualifier may be used to limit a search to items for children of a specific age. This qualifier is based on the age range specified in reviews, so only records with reviews will be selected.
- The Language qualifier may be used to limit a search to items written in a specific language. If a specific language is not selected, all languages are included in the search by default.
- The Author/Illustrator qualifier may be used to limit a search to items by a specific author or illustrator.
- The Publisher qualifier may be used to limit a search to items published by a specific publisher or press.
- The Publication Date qualifier may be used to limit a search to items published between two specific years. To restrict a search to items published in a single year, enter the specific year in both boxes.
If other qualifiers are not specified, the word search will not be restricted.
Browse Search Procedures
The Browse Search screen is similar in many respects to the main search screen. However, the browse search focuses on retrieving catalog records based on the content of one specific field. To perform a browse search, enter the browse word in the search field, select the browse category by clicking the appropriate radio button, and then click the "Browse" button to initiate the search.
Search Results Displays
The results of a search are first presented in the brief format, which provides a short list of matching records with up to 20 items per display page. The title of the item, its publication date, author, illustrator, and classification are displayed and the results are presented in relevance order as determined by the search engine. Click on the hypertext link on the brief display to view the full display for that item. The total number of items found by the search is shown at the top of the display.
Navigation through a multi-page results set is supported by NEXT PAGE and PREVIOUS PAGE buttons or by selecting a specific page in the range displayed. Additional buttons are provided for initiating a new search, modifying a search, resequencing the records in the set, and for selectively saving a subset of the records in a new results set.
The Green dot indicates that one or more reviews are available for the title. Clicking on a title will bring up the full display.
The full display shows the essential bibliographic record for one item, including publisher name, annotation, subject terms, etc. Reviews from multiple review sources also are displayed when available as are the awards, prizes, best books lists and reading lsits that this title appearedon. The full display also provides hypertext links based on the subject headings, author names, illustrator names, awards, prizes, reading lists, and reviewer names that can be used to automatically generate new lists of all works with a particular subject term, author, etc.
The BROWSE THE SHELF button at the top of the display may be used to generate a list of similar items based on the Library of Congress Classification Number. Finally, at the bottom of the display, a hypertext link allows the full MARC record for the item to be displayed.
Navigation is supported by NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons for moving forward and backward through a result set in full display mode. The ITEM LIST button allows you to return to the previously generated brief display. Additional buttons are provided to initiate a new search, modify the previous search, etc.
If refinements need to be made to the search words and qualifiers, you can also use your browser's BACK button to return to the previous search screen. This will allow you to make changes to your original search criteria to narrow or broaden the search. The DETAILS button will display your search query.
NOTE: If you fail to clear the search screen before executing a new search, the search results may be unsatisfactory. Qualifiers that were previously set may still be in operation. If you want to modify an existing search, use MODIFY SEARCH or the BACK buttons. NEW SEARCH clears all previous qualifiers and search terms.
The results of your search can be sorted in ascending or descending order by the title, author, publisher, publication date. NOTE: Sometimes clicking on sort will produce an run time error message, just click debug or yes and it will work.
The results of you search can be further tailored by clicking the selection box for a title. Make the selections for a given page (20 titles per page are displayed) and click the SAVE CHECKED ITEMS button. before proceeding to a new page. There is an information box that will display how many items have been saved. When you have completed all your selections, you can click DISPLAY CHECKED ITEMS. These items can also be sorted.
The results of your searches (brief format) and the full display can be printed using your Browser print capability.
If you are just starting to use the CLCD, we suggest that you begin by stepping through the tutorials. By following the tutorials, you will quickly become proficient in this use of this new information retrieval service.