Author Searching in the Online Catalog

Browse Author Searching
Keyword Author Searching
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Searching When You Know the Exact Author Name

When you know the exact name of an author, the easiest way to proceed is to perform a Browse Author search. The exact name can be a last name, a last name and a first name, or a last name and initials. Browse Author searching is usually best for personal authors rather than corporate or society authors. For example, suppose that you want to find books by the author Donald M. Johnson. You know that he wrote books in the field of engineering. Start by selecting Browse Author from the Find menu in the online catalog.

Next, type in the name of the author for whom you want to search. You should type the author's last name, then a comma, and then the first name and middle initial. If you don't know the first name, simply type the last name. Remember, the online catalog is not case sensitive, so you do not need to use proper capitalization.

Once you have entered the name of the author, the system will retrieve a list of authors with the name that you have entered. If it cannot find any such authors (or if you have mistyped your author's name), it will give you the option to search the index for the author that you want. Select the name for which you were searching from the list or the index, and type the line number on which it appears. The numbers in brackets are the number of books attributed to the author.

The system will then retrieve either the title list or, in the case of a single record, the record for the book. If you find that the name that you select is not the correct author, it is possible to back up to the previous step of your search. For example, you may find that you have located the Donald M. Johnson who writes on psychology rather than on engineering. If this is the case, simply type B. This will highlight the "Backup" option on the menu. Pressing ENTER will bring you to the previous step of your search.

When you have located the author that you seek and have selected the correct title from the list of works by that author (if necessary), the system will present you with the record for the book.

Press ctrl-N to get past the holdings information for UIUC Additional Information and UIUC Acquisitions so that you can see which libraries hold the book. When you have located a library with the book, type the line number of that library to see the status of the book. An available book can be checked out; a noncirculating book must be used in the library. If the book is marked Charged, it has already been checked out by another person.

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Searching When You Do Not Know the Exact Author Name

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You may want to search for an author of whose name you are unsure. The most common occurrence of this is when you are looking for a corporate or society author. For example, suppose that you want to find a book about safety issues in moving vehicles. You believe that the Society of Automotive Engineers would publish such a book. Start by selecting the Keyword Author option from the Find menu of the online catalog.

Type important words from the author name, being careful to avoid common words such as articles or other words that occur frequently in the catalog.

If you should happen to have a frequently occurring word, the system will warn you of this fact and ask you if you want to ignore that word. It is usually wisest to do so, since the inclusion of too many common words will result in a long search time, and, if there are too many occurrences of the word in the catalog, you could get bumped out of the online catalog.

Once you have refined your search, the system will retrieve records with authors containing the words that you specified. Using ctrl-N to move forward in the list and ctrl-P to move backwards, locate a title that looks promising. Select the title by typing its line number.

When you have selected the work, the system will pull up the record for that book. If necessary, press ctrl-N to pass the holdings information for UIUC Additional Information and UIUC Acquisitions. This will not give you useful information about the holdings for the book. When you have located a library that holds the book, type the line number for complete holding information.

The holdings information will tell you the number of copies of the book at the location selected, the status (charged, available, noncirculating) of each, and the call number of the book. If an item is marked Charged, it has already been checked out to another person.

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