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Combine keywords

Use AND, OR and NOT (in capitals) to combine keywords.

NB! Tasks between brackets are executed first:

solar AND (power OR energy) finds items where power or energy occurs with solar.

solar AND power OR energy finds items with solar and power and finds items with energy.


Truncation and masking

sign function example

* behind a minimum of three letters.

Finds all words starting with the letters before the *

botani* finds botanic, botanisch, botanical etc.
# replaces 1 sign organi#ation finds organization and organisation
? replaces 0-9 signs col?r finds color and colour


Index labels

You can use index labels to search specific record fields in SmartCat. You can for instance use ti: to specify that your keywords must be part of the title.

There are many index labels:

Searching... Index label Example
author au: au: Dudok van Heel
title ti:

ti: history modern art (finds items with these words in the title)

ti:"history of modern art" (finds items with this phrase in the title)

Publication year yr: 

ti: "history of modern art" yr:2010 (to find a specific edition of a book)

Series se: se:"oxford history of the united states" (to find the volumes in a series)
Subject headings su:

su: cubism

su:"abstract expressionism"

Journal source so: so:"art bulletin" (finds articles in journals with the phrase art bulletin in the title)
ISSN sn: sn: 0004-3079 (finds the journal and articles from the journal with this ISSN)
Publisher pb: pb:brill (finds items published by Brill)
Call Number nu: nu:"60.EUR 4?" finds all the books with a call number that begins with 60.EUR 4


Keep filter settings

In SmartCat you can use filters to limit your search, for instance to search only books, written in a specific language and published in a specific period. You can also select to search libraries worldwide instead of University of Groningen only.

Once you have used these filters in a search you can indicate that you want to keep these filters in place for new searches.

                screenshot SmartCat. retain filters


Disable group editions and formats

By default SmartCat groups related editions and shows only one edition in the results list. The edition shown is the most recent edition that is available in the library. The advantage is that this limits the number of results.

In many cases the result shown is an e-book. If you want to see other editions you need to click 'other editions and formats at University of Groningen'.

An alternative option is to select 'Show all' instead of  'Group editions and formats' under 'Search Result Display' on the top left of the screen. All formats and editions will be shown separately in the results list.

Your choice will remain active in new searches (during your SmartCat session) until you select 'Group editions and formats' again.

screenshot smartcat. search results display. group editions


Save searches

During a session your search history is saved. A link to search history is available in the red bar at the top of the screen. A search can be executed again or shared with a link.

If you are signed in, the 100 most recent searches will be stored. You can select specific searches to be stored permanently. In ‘my account’ you can access your search activity, with tabs for search history and saved searches.

SmartCat screenshot my account search activity


Search alerts

It is possible to create an alert for a search when you are signed in to SmartCat. 

Click 'Create alert' on the search results page. You can name the search and enter the email address notifications for new results should be sent to.

When you save a search you also have the option to create an alert. 

If there are new results you will receive an email notification once a week for a year. You can end the alert earlier if it is no longer needed. When the alert expires it can be renewed.

The email notification shows a limited number of new results, with a link to the full list of new results.

In my account you can see which search alerts are set on the saved searches tab in search activity.

Find the volumes in a series with status 'blocked'

Sometimes you come across a title in SmartCat that you cannot request: the shelving location contains 'blocked'. There can be different reasons for this, but a common reason is that the record describes a series or multi-volume work. If this is the case, you need to locate the individual volumes and request those. You can use the search key for series (i.e. se:) to find the volumes in the series.

This record has a blocked shelving location. The open ended publication year is an indication that this record describes a series with volumes published in different years.

This search will find the books that are part of the series:

se: tandeloze tijd




Questions? Ask the experts:

Subjects: Information Literacy, SmartCat, Systematic Review, OER