Michigan State University

Student Procedures: Using WorldCat

WorldCat is a secondary source for information when looking for records. Many of our bibliographers use it and it is acceptable copy for sending us records and as an order form if no SkyRiver record is available. (If you have been given an OCLC First Search order request, you do not need to type an order request card).  First Search is a source for additional information and order clarification only. But for pre-searching orders, please use SkyRiver copy.

  1. To Locate WorldCat:
    • On the Library's home page find the "Quick Links" box and click on "Electronic Resources".
    • In the list of "Most Commonly Used Electronic Resources", locate "WorldCat".
    • Click on  WorldCat.
  2. When on the OCLC FirstSearch (Advanced) screen:
    • Chose "Title Phrase" in "Search for" fields
    • Limit type to "Books" and "Serial Publications".
    • You can type in the exact title.
    • You can type in the first part of the title and add an asterisk (*) at the end of a partial title. This truncation will bring up more similar titles.
    • You may also use boolean operators to add pertinent information to a search.
  3. In pre-searching, WorldCat can be used only as a means to answer questions and fill in blanks.  As in SkyRiver, you may find exact copy, related copy or nothing.
    • exact copy = author, title, imprint (including publisher and year), and ISBN number match exactly what is on the order.
    • related copy = same author and title, but different edition, imprint or conference, or the title may be slightly different.
    • nothing
  4. If multi-volumes or an additional volume in a set has been ordered, we may need to use a set or serial record. Attached to this procedure are examples of these types of records.
  5. The same criteria apply to WorldCat as using SkyRiver.  First Search is an accepted authoritative source that can provide extra information, but cannot be used in creating records.