Harvest Help
Searching the Harvest: Library Catalog

The catalog offers two types of searching: Keyword and Browse.

A Keyword Search will return items that contain your search term(s). You can choose to conduct a very broad search for your terms anywhere in the record, or you can focus your search by specifying in which indexed fields (author, title, subject, etc.) the search term must appear.

In contrast, Browsing does not return a list of items, but places you at the relevant spot in an index--an alphabetical or numerical list of headings (e.g. author, title, subject, call number) with the number of records associated with each heading. It displays that portion of the list closest to your search term. Browse uses exact wording from left to right with automatic right truncation. You need enter only the first few words to scroll a list of entries beginning with the words you entered.

Keyword searching is available on the Basic Search Screen, the Advanced Keyword Search Screen and the Command Search Screen. Each screen offers different options for structuring and refining your searches. The limiting options on the Advanced and Command screens can be especially useful.

Browse searching is available on the Basic Search Screen (Title begins..., Author begins..., etc.) and the Browse Search Screen. Browse is also available as an option when you select an active link (author, title, subject) within the Full View of a record.

Essentials of Keyword Searching

Use a Keyword Search:

  • To search words in any order.
  • When you want to perform a broad, unstructured search.
  • When you know only a few words from an author, title or subject but do not know the exact word order.
  • When you know a topic but don't know the exact subject heading.

General Tips: Words may be in any order in keyword searching, truncation may be done (following at least three letters) by using the ? or * symbol. (Case doesn't matter, don't use initial articles.)


Keyword Anywhere Searches for words in all fields
Example: steinbeck grapes
Title Words Not necessary to type every word
Example: caged bird
Retrieves: I know why the caged bird sings
Author Name of a person, organization, association or agency; words may be in any order
joyce carol oates
oates joyce carol
american medical association
audubon society
environmental protection agency
Subject Used for Library of Congress or Medical Subject Heading. In keyword searching words may be in any order
indians north america
california gold discoveries


The adjacency option is available for Basic, Advanced and Command Keyword searches by surrounding the phrase with quotation marks. For example, searching "clinical pathology" will look for these two words adjacent and in this order. On the Advanced Keyword Search Screen there is an additional option. If you select the Words Adjacent? "Yes" option, the catalog will return only items that contain your search terms with no other terms in between. This is often known as a phrase search. If you leave this option at Words Adjacent? "No" (the default setting) then the catalog will give you all the results that contain your search terms regardless of word order or whether or not they are next to each other.


Title Word with word adjacency on Searches for the exact phrase (all the words in order)
Message to Garcia retrieves "A message to Garcia and other essays"
Message Garcia retrieves nothing

Browse an Alphabetical or Numerical List of Headings

Browse displays an alphabetical or numerical list of headings with the number of records associated with each heading. Browse uses exact wording from left to right with automatic right truncation. Headings are exact standardized headings. For example, subject headings are Library of Congress or Medical Subject Headings. You need enter only the first few words to scroll a list of entries beginning with the words you entered.

Use BROWSE when doing any numerical search and when using the authorities indexes or see-references to find appropriate headings.

Headings Indexes:

Author, title, or subject headings are searched using exact word order to retrieve an alphabetical list with the number of records corresponding to each heading in the list.

Direct (numerical) Indexes:

Numerical indexes find exact records or produce a numerical or alphabetical list that begins with the first part of the number searched. Numerical indexes include ISSN, ISBN, call numbers, Music Publication numbers, GPO item numbers, report numbers, and others.

Browse a List of Headings:

  • To scroll through an alphabetical list of authors, titles, or subject headings.
  • To find cross references to exact subject headings or names.
  • To perform a call number or other numeric search, e.g. ISSN or ISBN.
  • To scroll a list of call numbers beginning with the first part of the call number to see what other books on this topic may be on the shelf.
  • When you know the first part of a heading, for example, a title, but not necessarily all of it.
  • When you know at least the author's last name and want to scroll a list of author entries.
  • When you want to generate a new search with terms you found in an item record (use the active link for headings within one record to generate another search using the same terms).

Search Tips

Entering a word begins the list. For example, enter great and see a list that begins with the word great. Scroll the list to see Great Britain or great danes.

Authors Last name, First name
hemingway, ernest
dubois, W.E.B.
try typing dubois and scroll list
Titles Enter each word in exact order omitting the initial article (e.g., a, an, the)
Examples: catcher retrieves a list beginning with catcher, scroll to catcher in the rye
Call Numbers Enter the first part of the call number to begin a list.
Examples: Enter ct275 to begin a list scrolling to find ct275.a186 a3 or enter exact call number, PS3537.A426 C3 1951
Call Number SUDOC/GOVDOC Enter the first part of the government documents (SUDOCS) number
Examples: Enter doc ep 1.2: to begin a list
ISBN Enter exact number
Examples: 0803235704 or truncate following the first few numbers, 0803
ISSN Enter exact number, or truncate following the first few numbers
Examples: 0021-9266 or 0021
Subjects Enter LC (Library of Congress) or MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) subject headings in exact order
Mexico description and travel
lung neoplasms therapy

Advanced Keyword Search

Advanced search offers more options in its dropdown menus of specific fields to search. Fields available in Advanced Keyword Search but not Basic Keyword Search include: series title, publisher, conference name. It also offers the option of further refining your search with its Language, Format, Year and Location limits. (See Limiting a Search for details.)

Because Advanced Keyword offers more than one search line you also have the ability to create complex searches that locate records that have one term in one field and a different term in another.

Use Advanced Search:

  • When you want to find words from series, notes, publisher, year, and other fields.
  • To combine word searches in more than one index, for example, select title words and combine with a publisher.
  • To limit searches by format, date, location and language.

Search tips and examples:

Conference words Examples: western water conference
Publisher Examples: oxford university
Series words Examples: acta horticulturae 499

Command Searching

Command language may be used to construct complex searches. You may use search codes to combine terms from one field with terms from another field. The search statement uses a code, the "=" sign, followed by the term. For example:

  • wau=steinbeck and wti=grapes and wln=spa

Finds the author Steinbeck, with the word grapes in the title and published in Spanish.

Boolean operators (and, or, not) may be used in Command to broaden or narrow a search. For example:

  • wsu=cats not wsu=dogs and wyr=2001

Finds items with the subject cats, but excludes any items that also have the subject dogs and limits the results to items published in 2001.

For a complete list of Command codes and search examples, see the Command Search Help Page.

Journal Title Search Tips

The Journal/Serial title indexes include the titles of journals, magazines, newspapers, annuals, and serials. The catalog does not contain records for the authors and titles of articles, only the names of the journals they are published in. There are several different ways to focus your search for a Journal Title.

A Keyword (Basic or Advanced) Search in the Journal/Serial Title Words field works well when there are at least two distinctive words in the title. Also, many journals (but not all) may be retrieved by their standard abbreviations in this search. This index also includes the place of publication so that you can make your search for common one-word titles more effective if you know where they are published.

Journal/Serial Title Words: Two distinctive words
A search on Police Science returns a small number of results, including The American Journal of Police Science.
Journal/Serial Title Words: Standard Abbreviation
A search on Am. behav. sci. returns The American Behavioral Scientist.
Journal/Serial Title Words: One-word title with place of publication
A search on Nature London returns a short, manageable list.
Journal/Serial Title Words: Use quotes around a phrase to find titles containing that exact phrase.
A search on "veterinary clinics" returns a small number of results, including The Veterinary Clinics of North America.
Use Browse to enter exact journal titles with a Journal/Serial title begins...
Enter the first words in exact order to see a list that begins with the word or words that you have entered. You can also browse on standard journal title abbreviations.

Do not use the Year limit when searching journals. This limit refers to the first year a journal was published, not a particular volume of the journal. To see if we own a particular volume open the full record for your title and click on the Availability: All Items link to see the library's holdings and electronic access information.

Use the Journals & Serials Catalog to search for any journal or serial titles when you want to eliminate all non-serials. Use the Electronic Journals Catalog when searching for journals in electronic format only.

Limiting a Search

An Advanced Keyword or Command search may be limited to records that have specific characteristics. Records may be limited by applying one of the optional limits:


Format options in the catalog are:

  • Book
  • Journal/Serials - includes journals, serials, magazines, annuals, newspapers
  • Archives/Manuscripts
  • Books with Illustrations - results for the illustration limit may not retrieve everything that has a photo, illustration or other graphics because cataloging practices vary
  • Conferences
  • Dissertations - format limit is all dissertations that the library has purchased, not limited to UC Davis dissertations, and it includes Master's theses
  • Electronic Resources - all electronic resources, e.g., online or Internet and CD/DVD
  • Films (reels or strips)
  • Government Publications
  • Maps/Cartographic materials
  • Microforms
  • Musical Scores
  • Pictures/Posters
  • Slides
  • Sound Recording - all sound recordings
    • Cassette
    • CD
  • Videorecording
    • VHS
    • DVD


Years limits a search to a single year or a range of years. For the latter you may enter the first and last years, or you may truncate an entry to a maximum of two digits.


  • 19? retrieves any year between 1900 and 1999
  • 195? retrieves any year from 1950 to 1959
  • 200? retrieves any year from 2000 to 2009
  • From 1998 to 2001 retrieves any year from 1998 through 2001
  • Date range searching can be done in Command search. For example, as a Command line search, try wyr=1998->2001


Locations are specific libraries or collections within the UC Davis General Library. Use Command Search to search in specific locations not listed on the drop down menu.


Limit by the most common languages in the collection. For more obscure languages, use Command Search with the language code.