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Getting the Most out of WorldCat
Getting the Most Out of WorldCat
Sometimes you are doing research for a project and you need to see what has been published on the topic. Let’s say you are thinking about doing research on gender roles in Shakespeare’s comedies and you want to see if any scholarship has been published on the topic. You can use WorldCat to identify LC subject headings relevant to your project, as well as locate and identify rare books that might exist on the subject.
How to Find WorldCat
WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information. You can search for popular books, music CDs and videos—all of the physical items you're used to getting from libraries. WorldCat can be used to verify citations, locate an item in another library, or to provide accurate citation information for inter-library loan requests. (Does not include citations to individual articles, stories in periodicals, or book chapters).
What is WorldCat Good For?
SEARCHING SUBJECTS COMPREHENSIVELY
Sometimes you are doing research for a project and you need to see what has been published on the topic. Let's say you are thinking about doing research on slave narratives from the Louisiana Purchase territory and you want to see if any scholarship has been published on the topic. You can use WorldCat to identify LC subject headings relevant to your project, as well as locate and identify rare books that might exist on the subject.
IDENTIFYING ALTERNATE EDITIONS
There are occasions when you will find the need to identify trends in publishing or compare editions of a work. WorldCat is an excellent tool for these kinds of tasks because it contains records from over 72,000 libraries. This can be an especially daunting task, as the definition of "work" and "edition" is not always
CONFIRMING BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATA
Sometimes the bibliographic information for an item is incredibly important. Which edition was published first? Did this author publish this specific item before this other item was written or published? We all know how important citations are. You can use WorldCat to help sort everything out.
More Information About WorldCat
Here, you will see documentation created by WorldCat explaining a few different conceptual aspects of the network. Specifically, a guide for searching edition clusters, an explanation of "FRBR," which is the theoretical organization of information. This might be more information that you need, but sometimes it might help answer questions that you have if you are really trying to do some precise searching. Remember that if you need further help, your librarian is always available to help!