Welcome to the WorldCat Discovery tutorial for political science students.  This tutorial will demonstrate different ways to search and how different information displays.

WorldCat Discovery functions as both a catalogue and a discovery system.  This means that depending on the settings, a user can find both items Butler University Libraries has access to as well as things we don't.

This tutorial will walk through how to use several features.

 To begin, type into the search box:

"political parties" AND (gerrymander* OR redistrict)

In this search, the quotation marks will make the search treat the words as a phrase.

The * symbol is called a wildcard and it will search for any words beginning with 'gerrymander' regardless of the ending of the word (gerrymander, gerrymanders, gerrymandering, etc.)

the AND and OR are called boolean operators.  They can be used to either broaden or narrow a search.

So this search should find items with the phrase "political parties" and either a form of gerrymander or redistrict in the description.

The Results Screen

1 of 4

Now you should see your results.  Note that the results are displayed on the right side of the screen and filters options are displayed on the left side of the screen.

The Results Screen

2 of 4

WorldCat Discovery tends to prefer books (instead of articles, journals, or media).

It defaults to presenting Butler University items, then PALNI items (PALNI is our library consortium) and finally items held worldwide.

Above the results on the right side of the screen, notice the 'Sorted by:' drop down menu. 

Change the 'Sorted by:' option from Library to Best Match

The Results Screen

3 of 4

When you change the 'Sorted by:' option to Best Match, it changes the display order to put items that are the most relevant to the top of the list, regardless of whether Butler Libraries has access to them or not.

Change the 'Sorted by:' option back to Library

The Results Screen

4 of 4Now look at the filters on the left side of the results screen.

These filters allow you to narrow your results to a certain format, date range, holding library, language, etc.

Filter your results to Format: eBook, and Year: Last 10 years.

The number of total results should be reduced fairly drastically.

Item Detail screen

1 of 5

One of your results should be an eBook called:

Red and Blue Nation? : Characteristics and Causes of America's Polarized Politics 


Click on this title to look at the Item Detail Screen

Item Detail screen

2 of 5First, scroll down to the 'Availability' drop down.  Notice that there are 2 options to view this eBook.  The 'Access Online' button will take you to the first option, but you can access any other options by selecting the 'View eBook' link under the Availability menu.

Item Detail screen

3 of 5

Now expand the Description field.

Notice that it contains the contents of the book as well as a book summary.

This information can help you decide whether a title meets your research needs.

Also note the 'Subjects' information.  This can give you more ideas on other keywords you can use for searching.  If you click on these links, you will get all the other titles that have the same subject heading in their descriptions.

Item Detail screen

4 of 5

Click "View Filters" at the top, left side of the screen.  Remove the eBook filter and add Format: Print Book instead.

Notice your results have changed again.

Select the title, The Fight to Vote.

Item Detail screen

5 of 5

Notice the Butler University Libraries does not have this title.

However, it is available through both PALShare and Interlibrary Loan by clicking either the "Request Item through PALShare" button or the "Request Item Through Interlibrary Loan.


Congratulations! You have completed the tutorial for WorldCat Discovery for political science students.

Please fill email your certificate of completion to your instructor.


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.