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The basis of WorldCat is a database of resources owned by libraries from across the world. Macalester College shares our library holdings with other libraries, and in return, they share their resources with us. In addition to physical resources such as books and videos owned by libraries, WorldCat also finds articles from selected journals, ebooks, government documents and other materials. For an overview of why you should care about Macalester WorldCat, how to locate resources in our library and in other libraries, and more, be sure to watch our video.
Type in your keywords, urban planning, into the search box.
Your results will include other materials besides books.
On the left-hand side of the screen, find the section for Format, and choose Book.
Of all the items your search found, about how many are print book titles?
Even though you narrowed your results to be only books, that's still a large number of books. WorldCat searches for the word urban and the word planning anywhere in the records for the resources but you are thinking of those two words as a single concept so you need to tell the database that's what you mean. You need to search for those terms as a phrase.
So let's do a new search using the terms as a phrase and start over with a phrase search, limiting to the book format.
Is this the correct way to search for an exact phrase?
Try this yourself then check your results with the question below. Be sure to filter your new search results by the book format.
About how many items do you find now, if you search for print books using the exact phrase, "urban planning"?
You narrowed your results quite a bit, and you know that Macalester WorldCat Discovery always displays items it thinks are most relevant and owned by Macalester first by default, so you could stop now and start scanning the list of resources.
But maybe you want to sort by date so you can look at the most recent books that Macalester owns. If you sort now, you'll be sorting books owned by the world's libraries rather than only those owned by Macalester. Let's take the extra step of limiting to books owned only by Macalester.
To limit your results further to resources owned by Macalester, choose Macalester College from the Library filter option on the left-hand side of the screen.
Now you have a more manageable list of a little more than 200 titles. Sort by date to list the newest books first.
There are other ways to sort and refine your results using the "Sort by" options or the various filters for refining your research found on the left-hand side of your screen. Limiting results by date or language can be quite useful, as is using the topics. Play around with those options to see how they impact your results.
And, don't forget to talk with one of our librarians when you have questions.
End of Tutorial