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WorldCat UMD

News, tutorials, and tips for using Worldcat UMD.

Booleans, Index Labels, Phrases, Truncation, Wildcards

Like any other library database, WorldCat UMD offers Boolean searching (and, or, not), truncation symbols, wildcards, and phrase searching.

Boolean Operators

The following table provides a good summary of Boolean operators and phrase searching. Note, AND, OR, and NOT must:be in all-caps:

Boolean chart

Truncation Symbols/Wildcards

  1. The asterisk (*) is the truncation symbol. (e.g., secur* matches secure, security, securities, etc.).
  2. Pound (#) is a wild card symbol representing one single character. (e.g., anders#n matches Anderson, Andersen).
  3. Question mark (?) is a wild card symbol representing any number of characters. You can also specify how many characters to match by adding an Arabic numeral after the question mark (e.g., bu?2er matches butter, butler, burner).

Index Labels

If you want to get more precise searching you can use index labels. This technique is similar to using the drop-down menus in the advanced search. In fact, anything you can do in the advanced search can also be replicated in the single search box by using index labels. In addition, and importantly, the index labels offer many more choices that what you get from the advanced search screen.


You can get an idea of how index labels work by doing an Advanced Search and then examining the search box in the results screen. This search…

Advanced Search for Deveux and Jazz

…is the same as this one:

Deveaux Search with Index Labels

The most commonly used index labels can be found here:

For the full list of available index labels see

Here are some useful ones:


  1. kf: searches for words in the full-text of an article database
  2. se: searches titles of series
  3. pb: searches names of publishers
  4. ln: searches by language (e.g., ln:English)
  5. b8: searches by University of Maryland library and location (e.g., b8:UMAA searches for items in UMD's Architecture Library). See the Limit by Library/Collection tab for more on searching by location.