NUcat Searching Tips

Using NUcat to search for books on a topic

NUcat, the catalog of Northwestern University libraries, provides various ways to find books on a topic. These include searching by keyword (for which there are several methods) and searching by subject (using Library of Congress subject headings).

(Note: NUcat can be used to find out whether the library owns a particular periodical, but it is not used for finding articles within periodicals; for this, use a periodical index.

"Guided Search" tab: Guided searches allow you to search for words or phrases in specific parts of the bibliographic record (e.g., author, title, subject) or as keywords; to use connectors (e.g., and, or); and to limit your search (e.g., by location, date, language). Searching in "keyword anywhere" will provide the broadest research results. For example, to search for human rights in Egypt, you might try:

Egypt > all of these > in keyword anywhere


human rights > as a phrase > keyword anywhere

"Search" tab: Keyword searching is also available under the "Search" tab by clicking on "keyword search" or "keyword phrase search." You must formulate and type in the search, both terms and connector. An example of a "Keyword" search is:

Egypt and (law? or legal)

Once you have found a relevant book, "long view" of the record will include "Library of Congress subject headings" for the book. Clicking on such a link will sometimes retrieve additional relevant books that were not found by the keyword search. Or, sometimes this will help narrow a search that was too broad. You may also do a subject heading search from the "Search" tab by choosing "Subject Heading."

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