URSUS help Topics
- Initial articles
- Limiting/sorting search results
- Search history
Keyword search searches for words in the following fields:
author, title, series, subject, and note
and permits the following types of searches:
adjacency, truncation, Boolean, proximity, and field searching. See the chart below of examples.
|ADJACENCY||Multiple words within quotes are searched as a phrase. The order of the words is important. A search for "Maine artists" will yield different results than "artists Maine".||"Aroostook county"|
Matches up to five non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word.
The '*' may also be embedded in a search string.
** matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word.
The '*' or the '**' may only appear after at least two characters. For example, "n*" or "n**" would be rejected, but "ne*" or "ne**" would be accepted (but would likely produce an unmanageably large result set).
inter* retrieves internal, internet, but not international.
Colo*r retrieves color and colour.
Inter** retrieves inter, internal, international, etc.
|The AND search is the default search. URSUS will return results containing all words typed in the keyword text box.||
|Use Or to require that either term be present||maple or acer|
|Use AND NOT to exclude the second term
Use parentheses to group combined terms or search statements
|desert and not mount
maine and (art* or paint*)
|PROXIMITY||Use NEAR to find terms within 10 words of each other in the same field||
maine near teachers
|Use WITHIN # to find terms within that number of words in the same field||dream* within 5 interpret*|
|FIELDS||Use a:, t:, s:, or n: to search the author, title, subject, or note parts (fields) of records. Truncation * cannot be used in field searching.||s:criticism and (n:romeo or s:romeo)|
|PHRASE||Use "" to search a phrase in the catalog. "cats and dogs"||retrieves records with the words cats and dogs in that order.|
Type as much or as little of the TITLE as you want. For example:
- The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
- Decline and Fall
For more tips on successful title searches, see the discussion about "Initial articles." (Link)
If you are not sure of the title, try a Keywords search. (link).
You may search a person's name or the name of an organization, corporation, or government body. Name searches are LAST NAME first. For example:
- Hemingway, Ernest
Here are some examples of the names of organizations, corporations, or government entities.
- Maine Human Rights Commission
- American Medical Association
- General Motors
- United States Dept of State
The library catalog uses Library of Congress subject searching. The Library of Congress subject index includes topical subject headings from the Library of Congress thesaurus, plus titles and names used as subjects (including personal, corporate, conference and geographic names). Subject headings are often constructed of specific parts that are placed in a certain order. However, since not everyone knows this order, the headings are entered in the index several times, with the parts in rotated order. For example, "Forests and forestry--Maine--Hancock County" is also searchable as "Hancock County--Forests and forestry--Maine" and as "Maine--Forests and forestry--Hancock County". Some parts of a subject heading are not rotated, including any that begin with a number, as well as a short list of "stopwords." In URSUS these stopwords are:
- United States
When performing a TITLE search, initial articles in English and other languages (e.g. "the," "a," "an," "les," "y," "eine") may be used or omitted. Either way, the results will be the same.
If you wish to retrieve titles in which an initial article is used as a word, such as A to Z of Native American Women, type the initial article twice when performing the search. In this example, you would type "a a to z of Native American women."
Initial articles should be included in searches for the following types of headings that may begin titles:
- Established headings for corporate and conference names
- Geographic names (e.g. the "Los" in "Los Angeles" is part of the name and should be included in the search statement)
Include all articles other than those at the beginning of the title as part of a title search. For example, "The Old Man and the Sea" is searched as "old man and the sea."
Punctuation and Symbols
In general, the URSUS system will interpret punctuation and special symbols as a space character when entered into searches.
Limiting and Sorting Search Results
In general a search may be limited by location/collection, material type, publisher, language, or year. Conduct the search, and limit by location by clicking on the right most drop down menu next to the search button. Other limits may be imposed by clicking on the "Limit this search" button at the top of the screen.
When using the keyword search feature, all options listed above are presented at the start. Additionally, the keyword search offers result sorting by date (most recent will appear first), alphabetically by title, or by relevance. Results from a keyword search may be further modified by clicking on the Modify Search button.
Search History is a list of previous searches that have been performed. For each search, the list displays in which index the search was performed and the words or phrase searched.
To repeat a search, click on it in the Search History list.
To clear the Search History, click "Clear Search History".
- If you clear it while viewing a browse list, it will retain your latest search.
- If you clear it while viewing an individual record, it will clear the entire list completely.
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