Catalog FAQ (revised 4/3/02)

Compiled by the Core Educators Group

Comments to Bill Fontaine

In general, questions have been excluded if they are documented in the Help Pages or the search tips present on the Catalog search screens.

Display Issues: General

  1. The Catalog displays 12 items at a time. Is there a way to scroll through a long list of results?

    The initial display limit cannot be changed to display more than 12 items at a time.

    You can display more than 12 items on a single page by using the Save Marked Records button and exporting your results to the screen. It works best when doing an author search or a subject search, which groups many items under a single heading. For instructions with an example, refer to this URL:
    One option for bypassing the 12 item display limit is to search the Catalog using EndNote, a bibliographic reference program. It will allow you to download search results without using checkboxes. EndNote does not allow one to limit searches by material type, language, electronic format, etc. It also does a poor job when searching for one word titles, such as "Science." Moreover, one must take the time to learn how to use this software, which is not supported by Computing or the Library. For more information, refer to this URL:

  2. When saving, is there a way to "Mark All" or "Select All" records on a page?

    Not at this time. This requires a system enhancement by the catalog vendor. The "Mark All" feature was one of the top enhancement requests in the voting this year by the Innovative Users Group. Innovative will give this enhancement request a higher priority when they decide which ones to implement.

  3. Is it possible to sort saved items?

    No. Once records have been saved, it is not possible to sort them. We will put this on our list of enhancement requests. There are sorting options in Keyword and on the Limit/Sort page.

  4. Why doesn't the Brief Display have call numbers?

    The Brief Display requires that the call number be in the bibliographic record. Many of our call numbers are in the item record. We have asked Innovative to add this to their list of enhancement requests. We have no time frame for resolution of this issue. Full display provides accurate call number information.

Display Issues: Serials

  1. What is the difference between LIBRARY HAS and AVAILABLE in the status box for serials records?. If a volume is not listed under "Available," does that mean we don't have it?

    LIBRARY HAS is the summary holdings statement. It indicates the range of volumes owned by the Library. It will also indicate if any issues are known to be missing. If current issues are in another location, such as the Serials Reading Room, it will be noted here. This information will eventually be moved to the check-in record and will be displayed in the area above the item record information.

    AVAILABLE tells you that a specific volume has been bar-coded and whether it is available for checkout. If the volume you need is not listed, this does not mean that we don't have the volume, it may mean that it hasn't been bar-coded yet. Use the LIBRARY HAS summary holdings statement to determine which volumes we own.

  2. How can I distinguish between print and electronic journals?

    We expect to have this issue resolved by Fall Term, 2002. Serial titles in the browse display will show an icon or text designating it as a print journal or an electronic journal. In the meantime, you can assume that the first item will be the print version, and the second will be the online version.

  3. Journals that are widely held have important holdings information that is "hidden" on subsequent screens. For example, view the catalog record for Science. The summary holdings statement for Matthews-Fuller is "hidden" on the "next" page that is accessible only through the "show additional volumes" button.

    This problem occurs because the summary holdings statements were stored in the item records. This was done so our holdings information would display properly in the old catalog. This will be solved when we migrate this information to the check-in record. However, it is a major project and will take a long time to complete.

  4. I receive an error when I select the "View additional copies…" button.

    This is a problem Internet Explorer on the Macintosh that we don't have any control over. It is best to use Netscape if you use a Macintosh computer.

  5. Some serials show odd characters and incorrect date information in the Year field in the browse display. Example: New Scientist.

    This has been reported to the vendor and we are waiting for a fix. This should resolved during Spring Term.

Patron Initiated Functions

  1. When using the "Request Selected Item" people don't realize THEY create their own PIN. Can the catalog use SideCar for authentication?

    There are step-by-step instructions in the Help pages on using the "Request Selected Item." Please direct faculty and staff to these instructions.

    As for SideCar/Kerberos, Innovative does not support this method of authentication. This is an issue we're monitoring.

  2. User authentication is not secure. PINs and Dartmouth ID numbers are sent over the network unencrypted. Can anything be done to improve the security of passwords?

    This is a problem. If a person does obtain your Dartmouth ID and Catalog PIN, the person can see which books you have checked out and renew them, but they cannot check out books under your name. For this reason, it is a very good idea to make certain that your PIN is not identical to your BlitzMail password or other sensitive passwords. We have reported this concern to Innovative.

  3. Dead-ends are encountered when requesting a serial volume or multipart item that isn't bar-coded. Example: Request an article from vol. 9 of "Romance Philology"

    This is a problem that can only be resolved by bar-coding our collection. The Library realizes that this is a problem and that it needs to be addressed. In the meantime, faculty should be encouraged to send these requests directly to the appropriate library document delivery office by BlitzMail.

Searching Issues

  1. Is it possible to search by a specific location? Example: Special Collections Bindings.

    When the location limit is in place it will be possible to search for specific location codes (including the former sublocs) using the "branch:branch-----" command in Keyword searches. This should be available by Fall Term 2002.

  2. How can I eliminate microform from my search result?

    One can eliminate microforms by doing a Keyword Search. For example:
    a:mather cotton and not (microfilm or microfiche or microopaque)

  3. What is the timeframe for the completion of the Location limit?

    The Location limits is expected to be available by Fall Term 2002.

  4. Will the Limit function ever be faster? Example: Search for "Science" by title and then limit the results to Journal/Newspaper. The results take a minute to post, and the extended display does not help one pick out the correct title.

    It is true that the Limit command takes a long time for very large sets. The Library is about to upgrade its computer hardware to improve response time for limits.

    There are other things that one can do to make a Limit work faster. For example, if one searches for "Science," put a vertical bar at the end of your search statement (e.g., "Science|"). This reduces your results from over 2,000 items to just 14. Now when you limit your search to "Journals/Newspapers," it just takes a moment.

  5. When I search for an author, sometimes there are multiple entries for the same person - I have to click on multiple links instead of one.

    There are three reasons this might happen. (1) They may in fact be different authors. (2) The other entry might represent an order record, an "in process" record or a class dup on reserve. These records are not always using the authorized form of the heading — only items that are fully cataloged are under authority control and (3), it is a an error in the cataloging - please report authority control corrections to Cataloging.

  6. When I look for an item by an author with a common name, it's almost impossible to choose the correct author. For example, when looking for Captain John Smith's book about the settling of Virginia, I find over 125 different John Smiths.

    Search for the author "Smith, John", which retrieves over 125 different authors by that name. Use the Limit/Sort command to limit your results by Title Keyword: "Virginia."

  7. When I use the Author/Title search, sometimes it just shows the author's name. Example: Author: Landau, Lev; Title : Statistical Physics").

    A: In this example, "Landau, Lev" is not the form used by the Catalog, so it gives you a see reference to the correct form: "Landau, L. D. (Lev Davidovich), 1908-1968". Go ahead and click on the hotlink to show all items by this author. Now can click on the Limit/Sort button. Use the " Words in Title" limit to restrict your results to books by this author with the phrase "Statistical Physics."

  8. Limiting an author search by title word or subject word often fails, producing an error message similar to the following:

    Search Limited to: Words in the TITLE "buddhist"

    Record using 'williams+paul;T=buddhist' is unavailable at this location
    Record using 'williams+Paul;T=Buddhist is unavailable at this location
    Record using 'williams+Paul;T=Buddhist is unavailable at this location

    This is a bug that is being worked on by the vendor. We expect it to be fixed sometime in April 2002.

  9. If you do a title keyword search for Islam and limit to Government Documents, it includes several publications that are not government documents.

    The GOVERNMENT Documents limit will retrieve titles for materials that are produced with federal funds as well as publications directly from the federal government. Please note that this limit includes foreign governments at the federal level (e.g. Government of Canada, but not Quebec).

  10. Is the Sort command applied to only the 12 items on your immediate search screen?

    No, it is applied to all items in your search set. In the example below, the sort is applied to all 1475 authors and 4,603 entries.

    Screen shot of sort command results. </~library/catmet/archive/committees_archive/webpac/screenshot.gif>

  11. Is it possible to search by author type (e.g., the subfield "4" relator code for instrumentalist, illustrator, etc.)?

    No, it isn't possible to search by author type. Additionally, subfield "4" is not uniformly applied to our data. Any search on the subfield 4 would retrieve incomplete results in the old catalog.

  12. What fields are searchable by Keyword?

    A: The fields are listed on the Keyword Search page and the Catalog Help. The following fields are searchable: Authors, Titles, Series, Subjects, Notes, Contents Notes, Imprint (but not place of publication), volume numbers in series titles, and Description. You can search by the number of pages in a book, for books with portraits or illustrations (providing you use the proper abbreviations). It does not search call numbers, issn/isbns, location, or status. Also note that keyword searches cannot take advantage of cross references and authority control.

  13. Sometimes I can find an author with an author search, but not a keyword search. For example, the Arabic author, Buhtur¯i.

    There is a problem searching for diacritics with a keyword search. In some instances the only way to retrieve these items by keyword is to use wildcards in place of the diacritics. This problem as been reported to Innovative.

  14. In keyword searches using the Boolean "OR" operator and a publisher limit, the limit is failing.

    This has been reported to the vendor and we are waiting for a fix. Placing the search string in parenthesis will get accurate results in the mean time. Example (violin or piano) — Limit/Publisher = Kalmus.