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Basic Search - Keyword

Basic Search - Keyword finds words or phrases located anywhere in the catalog record. Image of search choices with relevance keyword highlighted

Use Basic Search - Keyword searches when it is not clear where words or phrases relating to the material for which you are searching are likely to fall in catalog records, when terms may appear in different places in different records, or when there are no results using other types of searches.

Because the keyword search is set up to look for any of the words entered and because of the size of the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS Web) Online Catalog, keyword search results can be very imprecise. The records display according to the system's evaluation of their relevance, but it is strongly recommended that special punctuation symbols be used to ensure more precise searching.

Search limits are available.
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are not available.

Keyword Examples:

Search string . . . Retrieves catalog records containing . . .
"history of mex?" history of mexico, mexican, mexico's, etc.
"hunting and fishing" the exact phrase; would be different from the search "hunting fishing" or "hunting & fishing"
+"precolumbian civilizations" !maya the word "precolumbian" eliminating any that also include the word "maya"
"dirty war" !fiction the exact phrase "dirty war" eliminating any that also contains the word "fiction"

Search Tips:

About Relevancy Ranking:

Relevance Keyword search results are displayed as a Keyword Titles List in ranked order using a special relevancy algorithm. Although relatively new to library online catalogs, relevancy ranking is used by many Web search engines (e.g., AltaVista, Lycos, etc.) However, each formula for determining relevance is a little different. Here is some information on the ranking factors used in the Library of Congress Online Catalog:

Alternative Search Options:

If specific information is known (e.g., an author, title, subject term, etc.), it is better to use a Basic Search (other types) or Guided Search (offering guided structuring of Boolean and index-limited searches).

If a Keyword search retrieves too many catalog records (a common problem with Keyword searching), try using a combination Keyword and Subject search by following these steps:

Use the browser's [Back] button to resume searching.

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