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UC Berkeley has one of the best academic library collections available in the world and OskiCat is our gateway to UCB’s collection. Other library catalogs allow you to search across the entire UC system and even across libraries worldwide. Note that OskiCat is used for electronic and print books; you will use other databases to find articles.
There are two important search commands that will help you in many online databases.
Adding an asterisk (*) to a word stem will expand your search by identifying and searching for all words that begin with that stem. For instance, a search for “architect*” will execute a search for “architect,” “architecture,” “architects” and “architectural.” A 5-letter or greater word stem is required in OskiCat.
Boolean connectors include AND, OR or NOT. AND is the default operator. If searching for “brutalism modernism,” the search is equivalent to “brutalism AND modernism” – only records having both words will be retrieved. A search for “brutalism OR modernism” will retrieve records having either word. A search for “brutalism NOT modernism” will retrieve records having the keyword “brutalism,” but block results for any records also identified by the keyword “modernism.”
Use OR to search for multiple keywords at once. Boolean operators and truncation can be applied simultaneously. Example: “(brutalist OR modernist) AND architect*” to search for books about brutalist or modern/modernist architecture or architects.
Before you begin your search, take a look at the OskiCat Quick Guide for additional tips on getting the most out of your searches.
Follow along with the search for materials on tholos tombs to familiarize yourself with Oskicat.
1. Open OskiCat
2. Enter “tholos tomb*” into the keyword field
3. Select Environmental Design Library from the dropdown menu of collections
4. Click the “search” button
Because we find few to no results in the Environmental Design Library collection, let’s return to OskiCat and attempt the “tholos tomb*” search using Entire Collection. This yields some results.
5. Select the result for Tholos Tomb Gamma (this will likely be the first result). Click the title to open the record.
6. Take a moment to examine the contents of the record and the various options and buttons
7. Return to the main search page and complete a search for keyword: “early Minoan” using “entire collection”
9. You should see approximately 20 records in the results
10. Select several records by clicking the blank boxes between the list number and book icon for each record
11. Click the “save selected records” button
12. Click the “view saved” button
Review your list of saved records. Saving records as you search is a useful way to bookmark the most relevant titles for your research as you scroll through lengthy lists of results. You can later review your list of saved records and collect multiple citations.
Exercise Part 4
Focusing on your topic, use OskiCat and repeat these steps with the keywords you previously compiled. If you receive too many results, Limit your search to the Environmental Design Library. Remember to record your citations either by storing them in a text document or by saving them in Zotero or RefWorks.