UNB WorldCat Frequently Asked Questions


What is UNB WorldCat?

UNB WorldCat is a massive library catalogue. It includes over 290 million bibliographic records from libraries worldwide, including e-journals and e-books, along with selected journal articles. UNB WorldCat searches all these libraries' records, but provides a view which ranks UNB Libraries' material first.

UNB WorldCat also includes material UNB does not own, providing you with a "Request item" link which takes you to a Document Delivery form with the relevant information filled in.

To expand your search beyond UNB, select the "Libraries Worldwide" option above the search box on the library homepage or on the results page use the check box on the left of your search results.


How can I do more advanced searching in UNB WorldCat?

Boolean Operators, Nesting and Phrase Searching

The default Boolean operator in UNB WorldCat is AND; however, you may choose to use more operators to refine your search. Boolean operators must be entered in upper case or special characters: AND (+), OR (|) and, NOT (-). Lower case and, or, and not search as terms. To search exact terms or phrases use quotation marks. To group concepts use parentheses around the words in question.
Example: (salad OR greens) NOT (diet OR nutrition)


Wildcards and Truncation

# - replaces one character in the middle of a word (wildcard)

? replaces multiple characters in the middle of a word (wildcard) or at the end of a word (truncation)

* - replaces all remaining characters in a word (truncation)

Wildcards are used to take the place of characters in the middle of words. For instance if youre not sure of the spelling of a word (is it organisation or organization) or youd like to include variants of a word (woman/women) you may use a number sign (#) to represent one character or a question mark (?) to represent multiple characters. Use caution with the question mark, however, because unless you limit the number of wildcard characters you might end up with some results which are not meaningful. For example searching the term lab?r will return results for labour as well as labor; however, it will also return results for Labrador. You may include a numeral if you know the maximum number of characters the wildcard will replace. In this case, you might want to use the search lab?2r. Truncation characters are used to substitute any number of characters at the end of a word. You need to include at least the first three letters of the term, but you may then use either the question mark (?) or the asterisk (*) to represent any number of characters at the end of the word.

For more information on searching please refer to the UNB WorldCat Search Help (Also known as WorldCat Discovery)


UNB WorldCat Index Labels

UNB WorldCat has numerous Index Labels which can be used to search on specific pieces of information.
For example, an ISBN can be searched using isbn: 9780763625894.

A library shelving location can be searched using kw: ghost AND b8: HIL-CLC (This search finds all material in the HIL-CLC shelving location with the keyword ghost).

A journal title can be searched using ti: journal of advanced nursing AND mt:ser

A title keyword and the audience term for primary can be searched using ti: moon AND mt:pri

Call numbers can be searched using nu: PT2663.A64M38132009 (All spaces must be removed from the call number for the search to work properly)

If you find you are getting no results for a call number try breaking off pieces from the end and replacing them with an asterisk nu: V815.5.G7*

Some commonly used index labels are:

Material format search index terms:

Audience search index terms:

A list of the most commonly used index labels can be viewed here: UNB WorldCat index labels and here: UNB WorldCat complete alphabetical list of search index labels.


What does the "View all editions and formats" link do?

Editions and Formats link within UNB WorldCat

UNB WorldCat groups similar editions of works together. The "Editions and Formats" link, found on the search results screen, appears when there are multiple editions or formats of a work available. It is important to use the "Editions and Formats" link as the edition or format you are looking for may be hidden from view . For example another branch library may hold the edition you want. Sometimes the most recently published edition of a book only appears in the "Editions and Formats" list, because it is not yet owned by many libraries.


Can I find articles in UNB WorldCat?

Some journal articles are searchable through UNB WorldCat. The article databases currently searchable in UNB WorldCat are listed below. NOTE: Comprehensive journal article searches are best done with the article & research databases for a particular subject. See our subject guides for recommendations.

In addition, the following databases may be selected to search from the "Advanced Search"screen. Select "Other databases" and check the box beside each database.

Database selection within UNB WorldCat


Is everything owned by UNB Libraries searchable in UNB WorldCat?

Some material is not searchable through UNB WorldCat.

The SOULS database provides access to the following material that is not in UNB WorldCat at this time.

Some of this material will have records in WorldCat but UNB Libraries will not show up as an owning library.


What do the locations in UNB WorldCat mean?

The locations describe the sub-collection in which a particular book is shelved. UNB WorldCat location descriptions and corresponding building floor plans may be may be found here: Locations Guide


What does the "Request Item" button do?

Request Item button within UNB WorldCat

The "Request Item" button performs 2 functions. It acts as a hold button which sends a request to library staff to hold the item for you. It also links to the document delivery / interlibrary loan request form in some cases.

For example, if a book is listed as available in the catalogue and is in a location other than your normal library you are able to use the "Request Item" button to fill out a hold request. This is most useful for materials located far away or in a storage location. When filling out a request be sure to change the pick-up library to the desired location for pick-up. It is not necessary to enter dates in the hold schedule on this particular form. It is recommended to not use the hold schedule. If you need an item on a specific date please ask for assistance. Your hold will usually be processed the next day and you will receive an email notification once it is on the hold shelf. Holds stay on the hold shelf for 3 days for you to pick them up.

If a book is listed as checked out in the catalogue, or not owned by UNB Libraries, the "Request Item" button will appear but instead of directing you to a hold request it will take you to a document delivery request form.


Login to UNB WorldCat

Why am I seeing a pop-up box asking me if I want to login or continue as a guest?

When you are searching UNB WorldCat from off-campus certain databases require you to login before they can be searched. Logging in gives you all available search results. If you continue as a guest you will get the results from those databases that do not require a login.


What is the difference between WorldCat FirstSearch and UNB WorldCat?

WorldCat FirstSearch (available in the Resources - Catalogues menu on the library homepage) does not include journal article records and does not provide the same relevancy ranking as UNB WorldCat. The relevancy ranking is not based on whether UNB owns an item. Document Delivery requests cannot be made from within WorldCat FirstSearch. Also, FirstSearch does not provide immediate information about a book's circulation status.

WorldCat FirstSearch does provide a more detailed view of records (more notes are displayed) and provides more searchable fields than UNB WorldCat. More record information can be exported from WorldCat FirstSearch than from UNB WorldCat.


We'd like to hear your comments. Do you like UNB WorldCat? Tell us what you think at worldcat@unb.ca