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OCLC Support

Word search

Discover how to perform a word search when searching WorldCat indexes.


Any word that is part of a record's bibliographic information and is significant or descriptive enough to retrieve the records you need. The system finds word in indexed field. 

Index label format

xx: (where x represents an alphanumeric character)


Publisher — pb:dakota


  • Finds any characters between two blank spaces.
  • Initials and abbreviations are words.
  • Enter multiple words in a string (do not separate with Boolean and) to find any instance of any term in a single index — ti:asian crisis
  • Enclose more than one word in quotation marks to find the exact sequence of the words — ti:"asian crisis"
  • Combine words with proximity operators with (w) or near (n) and an optional number (1 to 25) to find the exact sequence of the words or the sequence with no more than the specified number of words between — ti:asian w2 crisis
  • Words with characters attached by punctuation marks, such as an apostrophe, are not yet normalized in the system (that is, they are not indexed together so that a search term with or without the character retrieves the same records). For now, you can enter both forms combined with OR to retrieve all appropriate records.
    Examples: To search the title index for l'étranger
    • ti:etranger
    • letranger
  • For hyphenated words:
    • Connexion — substitute a space for the hyphen (system treats as two words). If searching a word index rather than a phrase index, enclose the two parts of the hyphenated word in quotation marks to find the words together in sequence.
    • FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery/WorldShare — enter the hyphen or substitute a space. The system searches for the two words next to each other.
  • Keywords can also be combined in searches. Type a string of words to search a single index for any instance of the words in indexed fields or combine with Boolean operators (and, or, not) and index labels to search multiple indexes.
    • ti:asian crisis
    • ti:asian and su:crisis