University of Divinity Search portal: Tips for better searching


If you type: Results are returned for:
near east the words near and east
“near east” the exact phrase “near east”
Byzantine near east the word byzantine directly before or after the word east
“Byzantine near east” the exact phrase “byzantine near east”

Truncation
Truncation allows a search for a term and its variations by entering a minimum of the first three letters of the term followed by an asterisk (*). For example, securit* retrieves records that contain security, securities, securitization, etc.
Wildcards
Wildcards are special characters used to represent additional characters in a search term. They are useful when the user is unsure of spelling, when there are alternate spellings, or when they only know part of a term.
  • A hash mark (#), represents a single character. For example, wom#n retrieves results for the words woman and women.
  • A question mark (?) represents any number of additional characters. Include a number if you know the maximum number of characters the wildcard will replace. For example, fine?2 retrieves records that contain the word fine, plus up to two other characters, such as finer, finest.

Boolean Operators

Operator Description A search for… Will return results…
plus sign + This is the default search operator. WorldCat searching uses +, which tries to find all of the words typed in the search box. Note: Any search for terms without an operator will return items with all the words. guns germs steel guns + germs + steel with all of the words entered into the search box: guns, germs, steel
OR (uppercase only) | symbol The use of OR, or the | symbol, will search for either of the words listed in the search box. Paris OR fashion Paris | fashion with any of the terms entered in the search box: Paris OR fashion
minus sign - The minus sign will exclude terms from your search Paris -fashion for Paris but not fashion
parentheses ( ) Use parentheses to create more precise searches dog (walking OR feeding OR grooming) for dog walking OR dog feeding OR dog grooming