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Online Library System Help

General Overview of Searching OLS


Choosing a Specific Library Collection to Search

Search Instructions with Examples:

• Searching by Title
• Searching by Keyword
• Searching by Author
• Searching by Corporate Source
• Searching by OLS Number Fields (Report Number, Call Number, OCLC
Number)

OLS Advanced Search Options:


(These options are only available from the Advanced Search screen.)

• Searching by Year of Publication


• Searching the Subject Field
• Searching for ISSNs, ISBNs, or other document numbers
• Searching the Notes Field
• Sorting Your Search Results
• Searching a Specific Collection of Materials
• Limiting to a Specific Database
• Searching Multiple Fields

Displaying Your Search Results


Guide to the Toolbar Buttons

System Features

• Truncation and Wildcards


• Case sensitivity

General Overview

Use OLS to search the collections of all of EPA's libraries across the country. These
collections include EPA publications, government reports, books, journals, videos and
more. This form will also search for additional EPA publications and technical reports
that are available from the National Technical Information Service.

From the basic search screen, you can search by title, keywords, author, corporate
(CORP) source, or subject. You can also search by report/call number, OCLC number, or
subcollection. On the Advanced Search screen, you can search several of the fields at
once or just one of the fields. You don't need to capitalize words - the searches are not
case sensitive.

For example, to find books with the words "carbon monoxide" in the title, enter the
words "carbon monoxide" in the Title field:

You can also change the field that you are searching by choosing a new field name from
the drop-down menu on the left side of your screen. That way you can search for several
words in the same field.

To combine multiple search terms, go to the Advanced Search screen.

From the Advanced Search screen, to find books on acid rain written by an author named
Smith, enter the term "acid rain" in the Keywords field and "Smith" in the Author field.
By default, the terms are connected by the operator "AND," meaning that both the term
"acid rain" AND the author "Smith" must be present in the record. (To change this
connector, see the section on Searching Multiple Fields, an Advanced Search feature.)

Once you've entered all of your terms, click on the Submit Search button. Your results
will be returned to you with 50 items on a page. You can view the next page of results by
clicking on the Next 50 Records button, or view the previous page by clicking on the
Previous 50 Records button. To view more details on a particular item, simply click on
the title. To return to your search results, click the Query Summary button.

You can also move back to previous screens by using the "Back" feature on your
browser. To do a new search, you can click on the New Search button at the top and
bottom of every page.
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Choosing a Specific Library Collection to Search

OLS contains records for the holdings of all of the EPA libraries, as well as EPA
publications and technical reports. By default, the system will search all of these
collections. If you prefer, you can pick the collection of one library to search.

To search the collection of only one EPA library, choose the name of the library from the
drop-down menu at the top of the search screen. Then enter your search and click on the
Submit Search button.

From the Advanced Search screen, you can get even more specific and choose a
subcollection of materials to search, such as EPA documents only, books only, or
journals only. Check the Electronic Access box to limit your search to only those records
that contain a URL or link to the actual document or related item.
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Searching by TITLE

Use this field to search for words or phrases in the titles of documents.

From the Basic search screen, simply enter words in the box labeled Title and then click
the Submit Search button. You will retrieve items that have all of these words in their
titles, although they will not necessarily appear as a phrase or in any particular order.

From the Advanced Search screen, enter words to search for in the text box labeled
Title, then choose one of the options from the drop-down menu to the right of the box.
You can specify that the title of the document must contain all of the words that you
entered, any of the words that you entered, or the exact phrase that you entered. Click the
Submit Search button.

Entering these With this search Will retrieve documents


words: option: with title words:
acid rain contains all of these acid rain
words
acid rain snow contains any of these acid rain, acid snow, acid,
words rain, and snow
earth in the balance contains the exact earth in the balance
phrase

Example: Search in the TITLE field for:

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Searching by KEYWORD

Use this field to do a broad search on a particular topic. The words will not necessarily
appear in the title of the document. They could appear in the title, the abstract, or the
subject headings of the record. They do, however, all have to be present in the same field
(e.g., all within the title field, or all within the abstract).
From the Basic search screen, simply enter words in the box labeled Keywords and then
click the Submit Search button.

From the Advanced Search screen, enter words to search for in the text box labeled
Keywords and then choose one of the searching options from the drop-down menu to the
right of the box. You can specify that the document record must contain all of the words
that you entered, any of the words that you entered, or the exact phrase that you entered.
Click the Submit Search button.

Examples:

Entering these words: With this search Will retrieve documents


option: about:
pfiesteria piscicida contains all of these occurrence of pfiesteria
maryland words piscicida in Maryland
hazardous waste, no matter
superfund toxic contains any of
what term is used in the
hazardous waste these words
document
emissions of greenhouse contains the exact emissions of greenhouse
gases phrase gases

Example: Search in the KEYWORD field for:

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Searching by AUTHOR

Use this field to search for works by a particular author.

(Note - you can't search for journal articles in OLS.)

From the Basic search screen, enter the author's name in the text box. Enter the full name,
just the last name, or the first initial and the last name. Click on the Submit Search
button.
From the Advanced Search screen, enter the author's name in the text box, and then
choose one of the searching options from the drop-down menu to the right of the box.
You can specify that the document record must contain all of the words that you entered,
any of the words that you entered, or the exact phrase that you entered. Click the Submit
Search button.

The following are all valid entries:

• Carson
• Rachel Carson
• R* Carson (the asterisk is a "wildcard" character - this will search for all words
beginning with the letter R.)

Example: Search in the AUTHOR field for:

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Searching by CORPORATE SOURCE

Sometimes a book or report is authored by a group or corporate entity, rather than by one
person. Use this field to search for publications by a particular group or corporate source.

From the Basic search screen, enter words in the text box. You can enter as few or as
many words from the group name as you know.

Click on the Submit Search button.

From the Advanced Search screen, choose CORP Source from any of the field drop-
down menus, enter words in the text box, and then choose one of the searching options
from the drop-down menu to the right of the box. You can specify that the document
record must contain all of the words that you entered, any of the words that you entered,
or the exact phrase that you entered. Click the Submit Search button.

Examples:

• University of California Berkeley


• Environmental Protection Agency
• Sierra Club

Search in the CORP SOURCE field for:


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Searching by OLS Number Fields (Report Number, Call Number, OCLC Number)

Use this field to search for publications by EPA report number, NTIS (National Technical
Information Service) Report Number, Call Number, or OCLC (Online Computer Library
Center) Number. Choose the type of number you want to search for from the drop-down
menu.

EPA Report Number:


This number will usually have the format EPA/nnn-n-nn-nnn. You can search for the
number with or without the punctuation. (Please note, however, that the punctuation must
be EXACT. If you can't find what you're looking for, try it without the punctuation.)

Examples:

• EPA220R93007
• epa/220-r-93-007
• epa220* (the asterisk is a "wildcard" character" - this search will retrieve all
documents with report numbers that begin with "epa220")

Search in the REPORT/CALL NUMBER field for an EPA Report Number:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Report Number:


Many EPA documents and other federal environmental documents are available from
NTIS. These items will have a report number that follows the format PBnnn-nnn or
PBnn-nnnnn. Be sure to use the dashes when searching by NTIS number.

Examples:

• PB96-115910
• pb187-758
• pb97* (this search will retrieve all documents with NTIS report numbers that
begin with "pb97")

Search in the REPORT/CALL NUMBER field for a NTIS number:


Call Number:
This number is usually the Library of Congress Call Number assigned to a book. You can
search for this number with or without punctuation.

Examples:

• ge105.004
• GE105004
• gf41.g67 1993

Search in the REPORT/CALL NUMBER field for a call number:

OCLC Number: You can search for an item by its unique Online Computer Library
Center (OCLC) Number.

Examples:

• 28413039
• 26634970

Choose OCLC NUMBER from the drop down menu, then enter your search term in the
field:

On the Advanced Search screen, you can also search by other document numbers such
as ISSNs or ISBNs. See the section on Searching for ISSNs, ISBNs, and Other Document
Numbers.

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OLS Advanced Search Options

Searching by Year of Publication


Use this field to limit your search to a particular year or range of years.

Enter a four-digit year into the text box and then choose one of the search options from
the box to the right. You can choose that the year of publication be equal to, not equal to,
greater than, less than, greater than or equal to, or less than or equal to, the year that you
enter.

You can also search for records published within a particular time frame. Enter two four-
digit years with a colon in the middle. For example, to search for documents published
between 1990and 1995, enter this in the text box: 1990:1995.

Examples: In the YEAR PUBLISHED field, enter:

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Searching the Subject Field

Use this field to search the subject headings of a record. Choose Subjects from the drop
down menu on the search screen and type the subject term in the text box. From the
Advanced Search screen, you can specify that the subject field must contain all of the
words that you entered, any of the words that you entered, or the exact phrase that you
entered. (The Basic Search screen will automatically require that all of the words be
present.) Click the Submit Search button.

You can search using Library of Congress Subject Headings. Be sure to include the
proper spacing and punctuation.

Example:

To search for records under the subject of "Industrial hygiene -- Problems" (a Library of
Congress Subject Heading), enter this term in the Subject field:
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