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Subject search

If you enter words in the search bar you will get a list of publications available in Groningen whose records contain these words in any of a number of fields. The keywords will be underlined in yellow in the results.



You can limit the number of results by using the filters on the left hand side of the screen.

Useful filters are:

  • material type (books, articles, journal etc.)
  • year of publication
  • language of the publication

                screenshot SmartCat. search results


Sort order

The default sort order is 'best match'. Recent publications where your keywords appear in important fields of the record, like the author or title, are presented at the top of the list.

At the top of the filters you can select a different sort order. Options include: author, date or recency. Recency is much like best match, but with more emphasis on recent publications. These are usually journal articles.

                screenshot SmartCat. dropdown menu sort


By clicking 'advanced search' underneath the search bar you can open an advanced search screen which allows you to execute a more refined search. You can combine keywords with AND, OR and NOT, specify which fields you want to search and use filters to limit results to a specific format or date range.




Index labels allow you to choose which indexes you want to search. In the examples for quick search of a known book or article the labels for author (au:) and title (ti:) are used, but there are many more index labels available.

The following index labels might be useful in a subject search:


Searching... Index label Example
All words kw:


Multiple fields like author, title, publisher, subject headings and abstract are searched. The number of results will be high

subject headings su:


Only subject headings are searched. The number of results will be smaller.

Title ti:

ti:abstract expressionism  (title contains both words)

ti:"abstract expressionism" (titel contains this phrase)

Series se: se:"oxford history of the United States"  (will find the volumes in this series)
Date of publication yr:

yr:1999 (published in 1999)

yr:199? (published from 1990 till 1999)

Publisher pb: pb:brill (published by Brill)


How to obtain relevant items

On the pages for specific items (book, article, journal) you will find information on how to access or obtain the relevant items from the library.

Adding databases to search

In the advanced search there is an option to add databases to search besides Worldcat. If you select databases, you need to save your selection. Reset will remove the databases from your search.

The indexes of the different databases do not always match. Therefore it is best to only search all words (kw:), title (ti:) or author (au:) when you have selected multiple databases. 

In the results list you can filter by database to see the results from one particular database.

For extensive bibliographic research on a subject it is best to use discipline specific bibliographies. You can find overviews of these bibliographies in our libguides.



Questions? Ask the experts:

Subjects: Information Literacy, SmartCat, Systematic Review, OER, Fake news