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Find Library Materials in the MC Library Catalog: Home

Find Library Materials in the MC Library Catalog

This guide will focus on the basic search screen (the main screen that you see when you open the full MC Library Catalog). Other ways to search include: Advanced, Title, Author, Course Reserves, Journals, and New Titles.

Terms Used in This Guide

  • Boolean Operators: Words—such as AND, OR, or NOT—that command a computer to combine search terms. They Help to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches. 
  • Call Number: A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing library holdings. Three major types of call numbers are Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, and Superintendent of Documents. MC Library follows the Library of Congress (LC) classification.
  • Catalog: A listing of all the materials a library owns. It includes books, periodicals, videos, sound recordings, and more. You can search the MC Library Catalog from RaptorSearch.
  • Intercampus Loan (ICL): A service that allows you to borrow materials from another MC Library location.
  • Keyword: Main search concepts in your research question. Keyword searching is how you typically search databases and web search engines. 
  • Peer-reviewed journal: Peer review is a process by which editors have experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the experts’ peers. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source by publishing only works of proven validity, methodology, and quality. Peer-reviewed journals are also called refereed journals or scholarly journals. E.g., Journal of Cell Biology. 
  • Scholarly Journal: See Peer-reviewed journal.
  • Search Strategy: Words entered into the search box of a database or search engine when looking for information. Words relating to an information source's author, editor, title, subject heading or keyword serve as search terms. Search terms can be combined by using Boolean operators and can also be used with limits/limiters.
  • Source Type: The format in which a particular resource is available. For example: encyclopedia, print or e-book, journal article, dissertations and theses, newspaper article, review, DVD, government document, etc.
  • Subject Headings: describe the content of each item in a database. Use these headings to find relevant items on the same topic.  Searching by subject headings is the most precise way to search article databases. See also Descriptors. 
  • Stop Words: Stop words are commonly used words such as articles, pronouns and prepositions. Stop words are not added to the database search. The primary reason for not indexing stop words is to allow for the most precise Result List.
  • Trade Publications: are a combination of scholarly and popular sources that professionals in specific industries use to inform and share information about that industry with one another and those interested in the industry. E.g., PC World. 
  • Truncation: A technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings. To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end. Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: *, !, ?, or #  

Research Cycle

"Find Sources." Magnifying Glass.

More Research Skills Guides

Want to learn more? View our other research skills guides:

MC Library Research Skills Guides