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All About WorldCat: WorldCat FAQs

An overview of our online catalogue and search tool.

How do I reduce the number of search results?

There are two things you can try. The first is to amend your search terms or add new ones (for more guidance on this click here to be taken to the relevant page of our Information Literacy LibGuide). The second is to filter your results using the check boxes located down the left-hand side of the results screen; if you need full text materials tick the ‘Full-text’ box; if you need printed books tick the ‘Book’ box and then untick the ‘eBook’ box; if you need print journals tick the ‘Journals’ box and then untick the ‘eJournal/Magazine’ box, and so on. You can filter by full-text, material type, author, year, language, content, audience and topic.

Why can’t I get into this e-book / why has this e-book logged me out?

Most of the time this will be because someone else is reading it.  Each of our ebooks is supplied under licence and some licences restrict the number of people that can access each ebook at once.  If this is the case please try again later.

If you have an ebook open and do not take any action (e.g. turn a page) for 15 minutes you are likely to be logged out of the ebook automatically.

If you encounter a problem with an e-book and have reason to believe it is due to neither of the reasons above please let us know by emailing

If there are several different links to online content for a particular ebook or journal, which one should I pick?

If it's an ebook it doesn't really matter - the content of the book should be exactly the same across all platforms.

If it's a journal, read the text next to the Access Journal link to see if there is any difference in the coverage between the different platforms. For example one platform might only offer access from 2000 to 2010, whereas another might offer access from 2000 to the present.  Again, the content of the journal or article will be exactly the same across all platforms, it's just the coverage that will vary.

I’ve been told you have printed copies of a book but I can only find the e-book on WorldCat. Why can’t I find the printed copies?

If we have print and electronic copies of the same book, and/or several editions of the same book, WorldCat sometimes bundles them all together behind a single record (which could be a print or ebook record). There are two things you can do to view all editions of a title - uncheck the Group related editions box (top left of the search results screen) or click on Explore all editions & formats.

How do I access an article that says it is owned by BGU but has no ‘View Full Text' link?

The best thing to do if this happens is to go into the article record by clicking on the title. Look in the holdings summary section as there may be a printed copy of the article held at the Service Desk. If not, you have the option of requesting the item via inter-library loan. For more about our inter-library loan service click here.

What if I can’t find any resources on my topic?

On the search results page use the check boxes to perform your WorldCat search across Libraries Worldwide instead of just BGU.  This may reveal free, open access resources as well as books or articles that our library doesn’t stock but which you could choose to request on inter-library loan (charges apply).  Remember also that there are many useful online resources that sit outside of WorldCat; for more on this see our Online Resources LibGuide.

Most importantly, if your first attempt at searching isn’t successful don’t assume the Library doesn’t have the resources you need. Keep trying, and if you continue to have trouble finding relevant resources ask a member of the library team for help or book a 1-to-1 training session.

Why don't you have the most recent edition of this book?

It may be that we do: if we own several editions of the same book, WorldCat sometimes bundles them all together behind a single record and sometimes that single record is not the most recent edition.  Uncheck the Group related editions box (top left of the search results screen) or click into an item record and click on Explore all editions & formats to view all editions. NB. The reason this happens is that WorldCat is a cooperative catalogue used by hundreds of thousands of libraries around the world. So, if between them all of the libraries own 2,000 copies of the first edition of a book, but only own 1,800 copies of the second edition of the same book, the first edition is displayed as the primary record because more copies of it exist on WorldCat.

How do I access e-books and full text articles?

E-books and full-text articles should display one of the buttons above. If you are on campus and click on them access should be automatic. If you are off campus you will be prompted to login with your BGU username and password (the same ones you use for Blackboard). For more about this click on the Signing In tab above.

Is WorldCat the only place I can search for resources?

No. It is the only place to search the Library’s physical resources but it is not the only place to search for online resources. There are many useful online resources that sit outside of WorldCat including Britannica Online, Issues Online, Childlink, and the Bibliography of British and Irish History.  For more on this, and links to all of the Library's online resources, including those searched via WorldCat and those not, see our online resources LibGuide.