As a student and a "consumer of information," you often have a choice in the types of materials you select for a given academic or personal need. Here are a listing of types of resources, what kind of information they provide, and how/where you can access these via the NSU Libraries.
***Click the NSU Libraries Resource Guide PDF link below the box to download this file.
Many systems, like databases, library catalogs online, and Google, default to the "Keyword" search, which uses "natural language" or words. This term or set of terms can appear anywhere or any field in a record, such as title, author, subject, note, etc. The meaning of the words are not considered. For example, the terms "heavy metal" could pull results related to music or related to soil content. Here are some basic tips on how to use the Keyword search.
Tip: Used the Keyword search to combine an author and keywords in a title of his or her work. For example, for information about the poem, "Mending Wall", by Robert Frost, or the fiction novel, House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, combine the author's last name and a keyword of the title of the work. Note: The names are not case sensitive.
Ex: Frost and Mending
Ex: allende and spirits
Example : stocks and bonds
Tip: Combine or group terms by enclosing them within quotation marks.
"early childhood education"
"performance enhancing drugs"
Grouping: Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.
The "Author" search locates all items written or co-authored by that author in the library's collections. From the Library home page (see the link below), click on the "Books & Media" tab at the top of the main library page and select "Author" from the drop down menu.
Tip: Enter the author's last name/family name in the search box followed by the author's first name/given name.
Robert Frost or Frost Robert
James Harner or Harner James
Betty Ridge or Ridge Betty
Tip: If the author's name is similar to another author's name, provide the middle name initial.
Ex: Smith, James D or Smith, James F
Tip: Some author's names and middle initials are the same. If the middle name is given use it, if not generally a quick review of the book titles will determine which author is correct.
Ex: Smith, James Perrin or Smith, James P
Tip: When searching for Latin names using the Library Catalog at NSU Libraries, they can differ in the way they are searched. However, when searching through the database WorldCat (OCLC), it will search for words and will return results.
Ex: Garcilaso de la Vega would be entered as: Vega, Garcilaso de la
Ex: Mario Vargas Llosa would be entered as: Vargas Llosa, Mario
Ex: Juana Ines de la Cruz would be entered as written, without changing the wording.
Ex: Federico Garcia Lorca would be entered as Garcia Lorca, Federico
Ex: Pedro Calderon de la Barca would be entered as Calderon de la Barca, Pedro
If you know the title to a book, use the "Title" search option. This search option will pull all records with that title listed in the NSU Libraries collections. For example, if there are several editions of the title in the collection under the same title, these records will be retrieved using the title search.
Example Title: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
There are multiple library records for this title for the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th edition. Review the records to determine which one you need. If you only have a few words in the title, the system will search for any titles with those words.
The "Subject" search uses a "controlled vocabulary" and focuses on subject terms or subject headings to define or to describe the information within the system. This type of search is targeted using specific terms or phrases that are highly relevant to the topic. It will locate all records on this subject and does not consider other fields, like the title or note fields as part of the search. This ensures the results are related and focused on the subject searched or the desired topic, which saves the user time.
Internet social aspects
mass media social aspects
mass media and culture
For additional information and to locate the Library of Congress subject authority headings and more, see the Library of Congress Authorities link below.
For library books about mass media and social issues or culture, use the "Subject' search option in the Library Discovery system.
For additional book titles not owned by NSU Libraries search the WorldCat databases. The WorldCat databases will locate items (books, dvds, and articles) from other libraries as well as items owned by the NSU Libraries.