This Tuesday’s tip is about advanced WorldCat searches. For reasons known only to OCLC, the basic WorldCat search has one screen/interface and the advanced search has another.

Which one would you choose as the Advanced Search page – the one at the very top or the one below?

Advanced WorldCat Searches

First a bit about WorldCat itself. In the last few years, OCLC, WorldCat’s parent, opened the WorldCat database to the general public. This site has long been a research staple, containing records for 1.5 billion items – books, films, periodicals, archival photographs and records, ebooks, electronic databases and datasets – found in library collections all over the world.

WorldCat helps you identify a given library resource and points you to libraries in your area who have the item you seek.

The advanced search interface is the clean and simple one at the top of this post. The basic search interface is the blue one just above. My personal opinion that I can never prove is that Google was initially so successful because it offered a clean and uncomplicated search interface. All that restful white and only one window to use was really smart.

Advanced WorldCat searches:

Basic WorldCat searches:

I’m a bit at a loss on how the basic site is more cluttered than the advanced. Both basic and advanced search interfaces search the same database with 1.5 billion records. So it just comes down to personal preference. Which do you choose? Does it make a difference to you?

For more posts on search strategies, click here.