WorldCat search tips

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How do I search U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) WorldCat?

WorldCat is just like any other Web search site you've used: Simply enter one or more basic keywords in the search box at the top of any WorldCat page. You're searching the collections of libraries instead of Web pages, so it's a good idea to use one or more of the following:

WorldCat's Advanced Search allows you to enter keywords for multiple categories and limit your results by language, format (such as "only books") and date of publication/release. A link to the advanced search is available next to the simple search box at the top of most WorldCat pages.

In what order are search results returned?

By default, WorldCat results are presented in order of relevance to your search terms. You can change the sorting order using the "Sort by" menu at the top right of your results. You can sort alphabetically by author name, alphabetically by title, or by date of publication in increasing (oldest first) or decreasing (newest first) order.

How can I narrow a large set of results?

You can reduce a large results set using the "Refine Your Search" box that appears on the left-hand side of all WorldCat search results. Refine Your Search lets you narrow by a specific author, subject matter ("content"), item format, language and/or year.

The box lets you move between searching and browsing with ease. You can "drill down" to deeper levels of specificity. You can also climb back up toward your original result set by clicking one of the breadcrumb links at the top of your results (or your browser's Back button).

How do I get the "permalink" for a WorldCat record?

A "Permalink" or permanent link is a simplified URL (the "http://" address) for a Web page that is designed to be short and easily interpreted (or "human-readable"). Permalinks for WorldCat detailed records utilize the "OCLC Number," an identifier created when the item is first cataloged in WorldCat by one of our member libraries.

The link to the permalink for a WorldCat record is found at the top of the Detailed Record screen. Copy this URL for use in e-mails, blog posts and other Web-based communications.

Can I get a bibliographic citation for a single item from its WorldCat record?

Yes. Click the Cite/Export link within the WorldCat detailed record. A pop-up window provides citations for the five most common citation styles: APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Turabian. (Make sure you disable or override any pop-up blocking toolbars or software when clicking the link.) Highlight and copy the citation you need and paste it into a word-processor document or e-mail. Make sure that none of the citation's text formatting has been lost in the process.

You can also export a citation for the individual item in two popular formats: Endnote and RefWorks. Look for the "Export" links next to the "Cite this Item" link in the WorldCat record.