Following are a few tips for locating a correct match. If you come up with any if your own tactics for locating records let us know by replying below!
The physical description of an item often contains lots of information useful in verifying that a match is correct. The description may include page counts, dimensions, size and other such physical details. This information can usually be found towards the bottom of the card image and forms the last line of each record returned from a search.
Partial searches are allowed, so don’t feel that you have to enter an entire title or author to get a match. Doing so will probably provide fewer, more accurate results but it will take you longer; experiment and see what works best for you.
Some cards contain an ISBN, which is probably the most accurate way to search for a matching record. When entering these you’ll need to search using the numbers only, ignoring and hyphens or other characters that may appear on the card.
Some cards contain a number of different years. For example, dates of events covered in the material, dates of acquisition present in some shelf marks, as well as the publication year. When searching make sure to use the publication year, which will usually be the most recent date present on the card, apart from any that may appear in the shelf mark itself.
The database that is being searched is huge. However, due to the quality of the records that we require search results are limited to those records created by a number of trusted institutions. Additionally, some of the material is very rare and we might hold one of the only copies. Therefore, it might not always be possible to locate a match and if this is the case you can just hit the ‘Skip / Not Found’ button to be presented with the next card.
After performing a search, clicking on the title of one of the records returned will take you to a more complete version of that record on the WorldCat website. This may help when determining whether or not a record is an appropriate match. Note that due to our quality control filters, namely only allowing records from certain 'trusted' institutions, not all records found on the WorldCat website will be available via the project search form.