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Some limiting options removed from Addison (and work-arounds)


Addison Addison

Aug. 14, 2013 – We have eliminated four limiting options from Addison's search screens. These format-based limits, known as scopes in the system, were Journals, Government Documents, Online Resources, and Film and Video Collections. The location-based scopes (Newman Library, Art + Architecture Library, Northern Virginia Center, Special Collections, and Veterinary Medicine Library) remain.

The format-based scopes have become much less useful after a number of other changes have been made in the catalog over the past year. In general, you can use the Material type limiter on advanced (and modify) search screen to accomplish the same goal.


The Journals scope was the most significantly changed, particularly once ejournal records were no longer loaded into the catalog. While one can still perform an advanced search and limit to the journal material type, the best means for finding all of our journals (both in print and online) is Summon. Nearly every journal title searched in Summon will return the record for that journal as the first search result. When we have access to that journal from a single online source, that result will link directly to the source. When we have the journal solely in print, you'll be linked directly to the journal's Addison record. Journals for which we have multiple sources will link to a Get VText screen where you can pick from among all the sources.

Government documents

This scope has always been confusing, because it included material everyone would consider a government document, such as federal publications from the Superintendent of Documents, but also publications from state university presses that most would not have considered a government document. A book on terrorism published by the University of California Press would have been included, while a similar book from Stanford University Press (a private school) would not. This scope was very little used. Generally people search for material on a topic, not caring if it was a government publication or not. If you really want to limit to just government publications (with the same university press issue above), us Summon's Content Type facet along with any other needed facets.

Online resources

We no longer load ebook or ejournal records into Addison (these change daily and the volume involved is simply far beyond our ability to keep up). Some online material remains in the catalog (government documents published online are the best example), but in general, users seeking online sources should use a tool like Summon to find those.

Film and video collection

This scope included more than the DVDs most users expected: VHS tapes, 16mm films, and limited access streaming videos. You can choose more precisely what formats you want in your search using the advanced search screen and selecting one or more options from the Material type menu (Windows use Control to select more than one, Mac use Command). You can then enter titles, actors, directors, studios, or genres into the top search boxes to find matches. (Note: entering DVD as a search term is not that useful--many movies do not include that label in their records.) 

If you want to see recently purchased movies, do a call number search. Since DVDs are assigned call numbers in the order received, searching a large number like DVD 9999 will put you at the end of the list and you can just browse backwards to see what's new. We also link to an alphabetical list on the DVD description page. (There are similar pages for the other media collections.) Either of these methods will also show you immediately which ones are already checked out, which is not something you would see on a printed list of movies (which grows out of date very quickly).