IRIS Online Catalog Handbook

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1 IRIS Online Catalog Handbook Table of Contents 1. What is an Online Catalog? Finding things in the IRIS online catalog Keywords Subjects or Subject Headings When should you search by Subject? When should you search by Keywords? Understanding what you find How do you obtain the book, journal or full text document? You have the title of a journal article. How do you obtain it? Which items can you access over the Internet? What do you do if the item is not at any of the RU Libraries? Retrieving an electronic item when you are off campus...20 Prepared by Eileen Stec and Sabine Rauchman February, Updated January, 2007.

2 1. What is an Online Catalog? Imagine making an inventory of all your music related items. What would it look like? It would probably contain information about your CD s, vinyl records, sheet music, MP3 files, but the list wouldn t contain the items themselves. If your list was big enough you would need to remind yourself where each item was located. A library s catalog is an inventory of everything the library owns or subscribes to. Information for each item would include the same information you created for your collection as well as the date the item was published or created, size, status and Call Numbers showing you where in each library you can find the item. Sometimes the catalog contains a link to an electronic item. The link allows you to leave the catalog and display the item. page 2

3 When library catalogs changed from cards in drawers to electronic form they were referred to as an Online Public Access Catalog or OPAC. At Rutgers we named our online catalog IRIS. In the catalog you can find information about books, journals, magazines, videos, sound recordings and precious, historic items. * The catalog contains book titles and some include individual chapter titles, but not the full text of the entire book. The catalog will NOT locate individual articles within journals. You must use an index to find journal article. We won t be discussing indexes in this handbook. Rutgers University s newest library is electronic and cannot be found in a physical building. page 3

4 The IRIS catalog has book titles, and some catlog records have searchable chapter titles. The IRIS catalog itself does not contain the full text of a book.* Some book records link out to full text books. (See section 4.2) *Currently, the Rutgers libraries has a small number of book records providing a link to the books from the online catalog, page 4

5 2. Finding things in the IRIS online catalog. 2.1 Keywords You are probably familiar with keyword searching, but what exactly happens when you search with keywords? Imagine that you are a computer searching a page of text for all occurrences of the word college. A computer doesn t think unless you program it to consider alternatives, it just does what it is told. The example shown to the right illustrates the words the computer keyword search accomplishes. The results ignore the word University. Keyword searching doesn t find concepts similar to college, it simply commands the computer to scan for letters or words in a specific order. Notice that the concept university was ignored in a keyword search. page 5

6 Electronic tools can also be instructed to search for keywords in specific sections such as title or author. These sections are called fields. In the next example, the computer is instructed to find the keyword college only if it occurs in the title field. The computer will ignore this paragraph because the title and paragraph portions are considered two different fields. The online catalog works similarly. You can search all available word locations (Words Anywhere) or in one specific field (see the drop-down list in the illustration.) If you want to find the keyword in specific locations, YOU must tell the IRIS catalog which field to use. For example, if you chose to search for a title you must also decide if you are absolutely sure of the title and select TITLE begins with (omit first article). If you aren t so sure of the title it would be best to use TITLE keyword. The second method will look for the words you enter anywhere within the title field. NOTE: in IRIS, chapter titles are included in a TITLE keyword search. page 6

7 2.2 Subjects or Subject Headings Why would anyone go to the trouble of finding a book using a subject heading? For the same reason you would search for bicycle repair shop phone numbers in switchboard.com by business type because you are not sure of the shop s name. You are searching by concept. Subjects, sometimes called subject headings, serve a similar purpose. You might want to locate the literary criticism on Harry Potter, not the books written by J.K. Rowling. Book titles can be creative rather than descriptive, so concept searching becomes important. Method 1. Keyword to find a useful subject heading. Some titles don t describe the book s content or the keyword(s) you use in this case eating disorders don t appear in the title. Subject headings are created by people called indexers. Subjects are placed into broad categories and then the categories become more specific. An example is eating disorders patients diaries. The book to the right might fall into this category. Sometimes these subject concepts don t contain the keyword you have in mind. In that case you might try one of the other methods described later in this Handbook. page 7

8 Here is an example of method 1. Perhaps you want to find books comparing different religious beliefs. So you look for the keywords comparative religion anywhere in the Subject field by selecting SUBJECT keyword from the drop-down list. You get the following results: subject comparative religion search found 4 titles. If you look to the right of your results, the IRIS catalog suggests additional keywords or subjects to limit your search results. When you click on the link Religions you come to the next screen. You have searched a broader category and discovered over 300 results. In other instances you might find topic recommendations (listed to the right) to limit your results to a more specific topic. page 8

9 Method 2. Browsing alphabetically for a subject heading. Typing in the keword phrase green house effect selecting SUBJECT begins with and clicking on the Search button will take you to an alphabetical list of subjects used in the IRIS catalog starting with the subject word(s) alphabetically closest to your keyword. You could get a results list that looks like this. Notice that your results show several see related headings notes. Lucky You! This doesn t happen for all searches. If you click on Greenhouse Effect Atmospheric here is what you may get. If you don t know much about the greenhouse effect these related subject topic give you new information along with additional subjects to use in your research. page 9

10 Method 3. Finding hidden treasure: Using a book to help you find other books. You can pull up a book s record (the information about the book) on your topic and use its subject headings to help you find other books on the same subject. In this example you can search a broader category by clicking on the subject Popular culture United States. The resulting records may contain additional materials helpful for your research. page 10

11 2.3 When should you search by Subject? When should you search by Keywords? When should you search by Subject? Always start with subject headings. They are very powerful and someone else has done the indexing work for you don t re-create the wheel. When a topic has been popular for at least two years it can take that long for a subject heading to come into common indexing practice. When should you search using Keywords? When subject headings don t give you sufficient results. When a concept is either very new or less than two years old, e.g. wikipedia is not a subject heading, yet. However, Wikis (Computer Science) is in use. 3. Understanding what you find. Note: these guidelines only work in a library online catalog. They will not be used when you look at citations referenced at the end of a publication. page 11

12 Here is a record that represents a journal. How can you tell? Look for both of these indicators: ISSN an abbreviation for International Standard Serial Number. One of the Subjects listed will be the word Periodicals. Here is a record that represents a book. How can you tell? You will find the size of the book in centimeters (cm). The year of publication will end with a period. The total number of pages will be listed. What if your TITLE keyword search for internationalism shows up in the Contents field rather than the Title field you requested? Chapter titles (included in Contents ) are simultaneously searched when you conduct a Title search. page 12

13 4. How do you obtain the book, journal or full text document? Physical items live in (are held ) in physical libraries. Virtual items live on computers and are accessed using the Internet. Not all virtual items are freely available to the public. Any adult can access the Rutgers University Libraries items if they physically visit a Rutgers library. So, where do you start? By looking at the full, detailed record of the item. The Sub-location and Status fields tell you where the item is located at the moment you read the record. The location field is not labeled. It is always located on the left side of the record. In this case the location is Technical Services Building (Busch). Use the IRIS guide to more fully describe a location, sub-location or status code. The IRIS guide button is always at the top of a record. The guide will explain many of the descriptions in the fields just mentioned. page 13

14 The Sub-location field is a bit unusual, because it can describe both the item s location within a library and format (CD, Microfilm, etc.) of the item you are looking for. Often the Sub-location will be Stacks. That s library language for circulating items (items you can check out) that arranged on shelves. Other sub-locations can be deciphered using the IRIS guide. Status provides up-to-date information regarding the whereabouts of the item and if you can get to it. A book could be IN TRANSIT at the moment you are looking at a record. When you see IN LIBRARY in the status section, the item is available for your use at the location and sub-location listed in the record. Notice the location of this book in the John Cotton Dana Library (Newark). If you are in New Brunswick or Camden you may request a book the Libraries already owns (NOT IN PROCESS) be delivered to your campus library by using the Deliver/Recall Book button. page 14

15 4.1 You have the title of a journal article. How do you obtain it? Many people make the mistake of going the IRIS catalog first to look for journal articles. This is a waste of you precious time. Only the title of the journal itself will be available through IRIS. BEGIN YOUR SEARCH FOR JOURNAL ARTICLES IN EITHER THE ONLINE INDEXES OR IN A PRINT INDEX!!! Searching indexes is not covered in this Handbook. After you have searched an index, you will have important information, including the journal title (sometimes referred to as Source ) as well as specific information regarding the article published in the journal. Once you have the journal title, IRIS can: Tell you if the Libraries subscribe to the journal. Show you where to find the journal.. page 15

16 Let s say you have searched an index called Criminal Justice Abstracts and found a citation to an article. It looks like this: TI: Teenage kicks: urban narratives of dissent not deviance AU: Stanley-Christopher JN: Crime-Law-and-Social-Change, 23,(2), pp PY: 1995 Complete Record In Database: Criminal Justice Abs / 07. Check the IRIS catalog to find out if the Libraries subscribe to the journal you want, Crime Law and Social Change. The resulting page lists the journal, so you know Rutgers subscribes to the journal. Click on the journal title and you will see a screen similar to the one on the next page page 16

17 ..this screen shows you which volumes the library holds and which location holds them. Looking at the citation on the previous page, you need volume 23. IRIS shows two results. If you click on Detail for each one, you will find that Contemporary crisis: law, crime and social policy is the old name of the journal and is continued under the newer title Crime law and social change. All print copies will be shelved under the most recent journal title in use. So click on Detail to find more specific information. The journal is stored in print from volume If a journal has some or all of its volumes available electronically, you would see an Electronic access field and a link like this in the record. page 17

18 How will you know if the Libraries do not subscribe to a journal? The example to the right shows the results when searching for a journal that isn t held by the Libraries, Criminal Justice Studies: A Journal of Crime Law and Society. IRIS will display a list of items that would appear alphabetically before and after the journal title you are searching for. However, the system will not tell you we don t have a subscription. You must reason that out for yourself. 4.2 Which items can you access over the Internet? Look for records with an Electronic access field. Another way to identify items available over the Internet is if the record shows the library location as Rutgers System-wide Electronic Resources. page 18

19 4.3 What do you do if the item is not at any of the RU Libraries? InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is when the Rutgers Libraries borrow a book, journal article, etc. from a non-rutgers library for you. ILL can take approximately 7 working days to obtain an item. The Libraries also uses a system called E-Z Borrow from libraries in the region. You may use this system yourself and initiate an ILL for a book (ONLY BOOKS) Rutgers does not own. How do I make sure my request went through? Open the IRIS catalog and click on the My Account link. You will need your barcode number from your Knight Express card, your library PIN (not your password) and your address listed on the official Rutgers directory. Use the Search for People feature from the Rutgers University search page to check which of your accounts is listed as your official account at search.rutgers.edu/ The list of your requests will be sent to you in an at the address listed in the Rutgers online directory. Checking out an item in person. All you need is YOUR current Knight Express card. page 19

20 4.4 Retrieving an electronic item when you are off campus. Accessing virtual full-text material when you are off the Rutgers campuses require that you: Are a current member of the Rutgers community Know and use your NETID to sign in through your Internet browser before you begin to search. If you are not sure if you have library privileges, check lib_servs.shtml Instructions for registering your bar code can be found at Registering with the Rutgers Libraries reg_pin.shtml page 20

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