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Library Search

How you can use the Library Search tool to find books, articles, videos, and more.

Issues that we are aware of and working on

The following are Library Search issues that we are aware of:

Advanced Search Page:

  • Applying limits (ex. "in the title" versus "Any") may give you MORE results rather than fewer
    • If you change the first drop down in the Advanced search page from "Any" to "in the title" (to search for your terms ONLY in the resource title), you may actually get more results rather than fewer. This is because your new search may initially result in a very low retrieval (less than 20 results) and so Library Search expands your search to the full text of the materials in an attempt to bring you more results.
  • Boolean Operator (AND/OR/NOT) "drops out" when following a "Did you mean...?" link
    • If you do an advanced search with terms in one field ("as author/creator", "in the title") separated by AND with terms in a second field, and one of your terms is misspelled, this may bring up a "Did you mean XX?" message, directing you to the properly spelled term. However, if you click the "Did you mean?" message, your terms will be placed entirely in one field and you will lose the original Boolean search AND/OR/NOT.
  • Date Limits
    • Using date limits will sometimes pull up records that fall outside the date limits you have set. For example, searching for items published between 2009 and 2015 may bring up items published before or after that time period.
  • Searching single-word titles
    • Searching single word titles (such as journals with the names Science or Nature) works better in the main Library Search box under Everything, rather than using Advanced Search.

Article linker icon/Full Text Linking Problems

  • For articles that we do not have online in or hard copy, our Article linker icon  icon may not show you a link to request that item through our Interlibrary Loan service. This link will usually say Request it (WMU Students, Faculty and Staff). If this link is not visible after you've clicked Article linker icon, please use the Interlibrary Loan link on the WMU Libraries homepage to order the article.

Google Scholar "WMU Article Linker" links

  • Some "WMU Article Linker" links within Google Scholar will not find the full text of articles in Library Search because the metadata in the Google Scholar record is too sparse for Library Search to use for OpenURL linking. In this case, we recommend copying and pasting the article title in quotation marks (Ex. "Uses and misuses of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological theory of human development") into Library Search and searching the article that way.
  • "WMU Article Linker" link not visible in Google Scholar. This occasionally happens. Usually, if the "Find It" link is not visible to the right of the citation, try clicking on the double arrows in the "Cited by" menu under the citation. This often exposes the "WMU Article Linker" link. See image below.

Click here first in Google Scholar

WMU Article Linker appearance in Google Scholar

Search Results

  • "Copy and Paste" functionality works in internet browsers and on the iPad but NOT on the iPhone.

Simple Search page (WMU Main Library page)

  • Always use parentheses () around synonyms that you are searching with a Boolean OR along with other terms that you are using AND with - for example:
    • safety AND (aviation OR flight OR airports) - CORRECT
    • safety AND aviation OR flight OR airports - INCORRECT - Library Search will change this to:
      • (safety AND aviation) OR flight OR airports
  • Searching journal titles (to see what journals we have): This works best for many titles (ex. Nature, Science, American Naturalist) if you search the journal title in "Everything." Library Search is optimized to bring the journal titles to the top of the results list.
  • Some Boolean searches (using AND, OR, NOT) will not always give the number of results consistent with what is in our database. This problem is being investigated. 9/4/20

This page was revised on 9/4/20 by Ed Eckel. Issues listed here continue to be a problem.