5-Search Tools

1. Library Catalog

The Ohio State University library catalog is searchable online and contains records for all the items owned or licensed by OSU Libraries. It also includes a circulation system that is used to check out materials. Students can use the system to have books and other materials quickly sent to their residence hall or for pick up at a library on the Columbus campus or at any of the regional campus libraries. Items in the catalog include books, journals (but not individual journal articles), documents, maps, movies, and recordings.

When to Use It

Use the library catalog to search for items that you can access because you are affiliated with Ohio State, to locate where those materials are stored, and to request them.

Note that OSU’s library catalog:

  • Does not contain the full-text of any materials. However, some items may include a table of contents and a link to full-text digital content.
  • Does not contain specific articles. The catalog can only tell you whether a journal or other periodical title is available.

How to Use It

To access the catalog, choose the Books and More tab on the OSU Libraries’ main page at http://library.osu.edu. From there, you can do a search or click on More Options to get access to other search options.

The Books and More tab includes an option to search the OSU Library Catalog.
Searching Ohio State’s catalog from library.osu.edu

Search Types

The catalog allows searching by author, title, journal title, subject, and keyword as well as specialty numbers such as the Library of Congress call number and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). There is also an option for advanced search.

Additional tips:

  • Keyword searches are the broadest search, as they search all information in an item record. (The search tips in Precision Searching, are based on using keywords.)
  • Subjects are a very specific set of terms that are helpful for precision searches. Often, the easiest way to find subject terms is to do a keyword search first and then  look at the subject terms for those that are good matches for your topic. There is more about subject heading searching in Specialized Databases later in this section.
  • The Advanced Search screen allows a few additional search capabilities, such as multiple search fields to narrow the scope of a search term. You can also limit by year range, language, location, or format.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research Copyright © 2015 by Teaching & Learning, Ohio State University Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book