This page discusses searches, both simple and sophisticated, that can be performed using Houston Cole Library's JaxCat online catalog.
What is JaxCat and what does it do?
JaxCat is Houston Cole Library's online catalog. It is the only finding aid that can identify and provide locating information for every item the library owns.
Setting up JaxCat for searching
You do not have to enter anything in the search box for your initial JaxCat search; just click on the <Search> button
Searching JaxCat (known items)
What are "known item" searches?
Known item searches usually are for specifics: a list of works by an author or the title of a specific primary or secondary source.
NOTE: For all modes of JaxCat searching, before performing the search look at the Search Tips just beneath the search window.
Author search (use Author tab): used to find an item or items created by a person, persons, or a corporate author
Title search (use Basic tab along with True Title option in right side dropdown menu): used to see if Houston Cole Library owns or has (electronic) access to a particular book, CD, DVD, newspaper, etc.
What are "unknown item" searches?
Unknown item searches seek to harvest books about something, to generate a list of "unknowns" that leads to a list of known items (specific titles and authors).
Subject search (use Subject tab): used to find information about something or someone
Keyword search (use Advanced tab):
Caveat: In both Subject and Advanced search, do not search for minor titles (titles which in print would have "quotation marks" around them). JaxCat contains very few records for minor titles, and searching for information on these titles more often than not will sabotage the search. There are other ways to access minor titles; ask your librarian for help.
Expanding search results in Subject/Advanced searches
Adding Limiters to Advanced Searches
Advanced is the most flexible of all the JaxCat searches
List of Limiters (selected)
Language: limits results to those languages selected from the dropdown menu
Library Location: limits results to those at a physical place (one of the locations listed within the menu)
Date of Publication: confines search results to materials published in a single year or span of years
Types: pertains to the content type of the information source; Electronic Resources is the most comprehensive way to select online materials such as videos and is particularly useful when searching for e-books.
Format: overlaps to some degree with Types; pertains to how the information source is packaged
Place of Publication: identifies geographic origin of information source
The relevance trifecta is a way to assess how useful a particular book may be for your research. First, perform an initial Subject/Advanced search to obtain a results list of titles, then click on a title from the list to get to the item record for that book.
Second match: Full Record View in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, an expanded record for the book which often includes the Table of Contents
compare ToC against search terms
Third match: "About This Book" link in the lower right of the screen links to Google Books and includes the jacket blurb (here functioning as an abstract), which offers further insight into the book's usefulness for your research
Seek matches with your search terms at all three levels to assess relevance; the more matches, the higher degree of relevance.
What are Field Searches?
Field searches allow you to search select parts of a book's bibliographic record rather than having to search the entire record. They increase the precision of a JaxCat search.
In JaxCat Advanced Search
Exercise: Open Jaxcat Advanced
Perform a JaxCat search.
To learn all the books in a series
NOTE: At Jacksonville State University, students have interlibrary loan privileges.
Important Literature Series that can be Advanced Searched by Title
Cambridge Companion to
Oxford Companion to
Strategies and Sources
Important Literature Series that can be Advanced Searched by Series
Twentieth Century Views
Twentieth Century Interpretations
Modern Critical Views
Modern Critical Interpretations