Visual Media Services

HELP: Media Catalog Search

The following screens describe how each item in the Media Catalog Search works.

Some of these items may not be available for your particular database.

You may access the Media Catalog Search from here.


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Description of Each Item

Item Description
Enter search terms below.

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Search Terms Entry Box:

Type a word or words into this box to search the database for matches to your word(s) when you press the submit button. To find exact phrases, enclose the words in double quotes (e.g. "gone with the wind").

You can perform a search by selecting options from one or more of the pulldown menus and pressing submit (i.e. the search terms entry box can be blank).

Words that are one or two characters long, and words that occur very frequently in English such as "the" and "have", are indexed only for Title, Titles by Series or Subject, and Series or Subject Browse searches. For all other search field types, these words will be ignored if you include them in the search terms.

Punctuation (-,.?/%^ etc.) is ignored and text on either side is treated as separate words, e.g. two step searches for two and step.

Entering letters plus an asterisk will search for all words beginning with those letters. For example, typing math* will match on all words beginning with math.

By default you are in simple search mode which returns only catalog items with all words listed. You can choose between a simple search and an advanced search using the search menu.


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Submit Button:

Press the submit button to send your search request to the server. Submit looks up the words you enter in the search terms entry box and/or the options you choose from the pulldown menus.


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Reset Button:

Press the reset button to remove all of the changes you have made to the search options and reset them to their default positions.


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Limit Items Menu:

Press the down arrow on the item menu to select how many items Medianet will display at one time from the matches it finds for your search.

If it finds more than the limit you set, Medianet will provide a next button to display the next set of items.

HINT: If you change the limit options, press submit rather than the next button as submit starts the new search's display at the beginning whereas next skips over the number of entries already displayed.


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Search Menu:

Press the down arrow on the search menu to reveal the option of performing a simple search or an advanced search (using a Boolean Search).


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Search Field Menu:

Press the down arrow on the search field menu to reveal a list of choices for the search field and type of search. Standard field choices are to search the database by all keywords or limit the search to just the title, series, or subject fields.

When keyword is selected, each field visible in the title record except sound, color, country of origin, distributor and both producer fields will be searched for the text entered in the search terms entry box. If you wish to search for an item with a specific sound field specified, choose that sound from the sound type menu. Similarly to search for an item with a specific country field specified, choose that country from the country of origin menu. To search by distributor or producer, change the default of Keyword for this menu to Titles by Dis/Pro/Pub.

HINT: If Subject Browse is selected, the Media Format, Audience Level, Language, Sound Type and Country of origin menus are disregarded. To search only words in the subject terms, switch to Titles by Subject and enter as many subject words as are needed to narrow your search to a manageable size. If you know the exact subject term, it may be entered in double quotes for an exact match (e.g. "art history").

Standard search types Subject Browse or Series Browse limits the search to those fields but returns subject or series names rather than actual titles (a great way to browse).

Titles by Dis/Pro/Pub allows you to retrieve all titles with a Distributor, Producer, or Publisher whose name matches your search terms.

Additional search types such as Author Browse and Titles by Author may be present depending on your site's particular configuration. These choices behave like Subject Browse and Titles by Subject, except that the field being searched differs and search terms of words less than 3 characters are indexed (i.e. like Title searches). The hint about limit conditions noted above also applies to these fields.


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Detail Display Menu:

Press the down arrow on the detail display menu to reveal the choice of a Brief display [one line per title] or a Full display [all details for each title (title, length, synopsis, etc.)].

If the search field is Subject Browse or Series Browse then Full display returns the subject heading or series heading followed by a list of its titles.

The Brief multi-pick and Full multi-pick options may be present depending on your site's particular configuration. (For details, see tutorial). Select one of the multi-pick options to make checkboxes display in the search results. Use the checkboxes to select multiple items to order.
Then press selpick at the bottom of the list to pick all checked items at once.

Choosing Brief or Full multi-pick changes the amount of detail as described above for Brief display and Full display.


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Media Format Menu:

Press the down arrow on the media format menu to reveal a list of choices for your media type search. For example, if you were looking for a DVD you would select DVD from the menu.

Format abbreviations are printed in the brief title display, inside the brackets, after the title code in capital letters.

The following menus are database dependent and will only be displayed if each individual category is available.


Item Description

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Audience Level Menu:

Press the down arrow on the audience level menu to reveal a list of choices for an audience level search. For example, if you are planning a university lecture, you may not want to select titles which pertain to subjects for a kindergarten audience!

Audience level abbreviations are printed at the end of the brief title display in capital letters.


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Language Menu:

Press the down arrow on the language menu to reveal a list of choices for a language search.


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Sound Type Menu:

Press the down arrow on the sound type menu to reveal a list of choices for a sound type search.

This menu will only be displayed if there is more than one sound type available for the titles in the database.


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Collection Menu:

Press the down arrow on the collection menu to reveal a list of choices for which collections a title may belong to.

This menu will only be displayed if there is more than one collection available for the titles in the database.


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Office Menu:

Press the down arrow on the office menu to reveal a list of choices for which office a title may be found in.


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Year Menu:

Press the down arrow on the year menu to reveal a list of choices for which year a title may be found in.

Menu choices followed by a "+" match on the indicated year and every year following it, up to and including the current year.


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Acquisition date Menu:

Press the down arrow on the acquisition date menu to reveal a list of choices for how recently a title was added to the catalog.

Hint: just enter * in the search terms entry box to list all titles added within the selected number of days.


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Mediagraphy Menu:

Press the down arrow on the mediagraphy menu to reveal a list of available mediagraphies. A mediagraphy is a group of titles that has been selected as a subset of the full catalog to aid in searching.

This menu will only be displayed if mediagraphies have been defined.


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Country of origin Menu:

Press the down arrow on the country of origin menu to reveal a list of choices for a country search.

This menu will only be displayed if there is more than one country available for the titles in the database.


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Hints:

  • Since it is easy to revise your search, we recommend using limit conditions only if too many titles are returned when a simple search is performed.
  • Pulldown menus are available based on database configuration. For example:
    • A menu will not be displayed if there is no field for that menu stored in the database. For example, if the database does not have a sound field, then the Sound Menu will not be displayed.
    • A menu will not be displayed if there is only one entry type stored in a field. For example, if the database only has titles with English as the language, then the Language Menu will not be displayed on the Media Catalog Search.
  • If you are performing Boolean queries (using 'and', 'or', brackets, etc) but you are not getting the results you expected, check to confirm that you are in "advanced search" mode. If you are in "simple search" mode, Boolean operands will be ignored and all search terms will be matched using the Boolean operator 'and.' Change the mode to "advanced search" and retry the search.
  • The * wildcard or blank(ie. implies *) in Search Terms Entry Box is not supported for Titles by Series and Titles by Dis/Pro/Pub searches: try Series Browse or Title instead.
  • New titles are flagged with one of the following icons:

    Newest: 01-May-99 (added in the last 90 days)
    Newer: 01-Jan-99 (since the July 1st that is more than 6 months ago)
    New: 01-Jan-98 (since the July 1st that is more than 18 months ago)

    Rest the pointer over the icon to see the date the title was added to the collection. If the date does not show up, turn on ToolTips in your browser's preferences.


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We thank VMSIndex and the OSU DECThreads Web Server developers for this excellent software.

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