There are four valid SRU Relation options in the WorldCat Search API.
The Exact phrase will start and end with the exact terms of the phrase. This is also called an anchored phrase search. The Proximity search is using WITH between terms with no words separating the words. This is sometimes called an unanchored phrase search.
Terms can also be combined using the Boolean operators of AND, OR, and NOT. So for example the following is doing a search for civil war with different operators.
In general the WorldCat API searching experience is unique to this service, borrowing from a number of different services. It is searching only the cataloged records provided by our cataloging members and found in such services as catalog's Connexion or the reference's FirstSearch WorldCat. However, the API's results are collected up so that records that are of the same title and author (edition) are grouped together and represented by a single record. This editions grouping of records is using the same process used in WorldCat.org. However, WorldCat.org has many additional records that are not part of the cataloged records provided by members. These additional records found in WorldCat.org and not in the API have the label Database and the source of data in the full record display in WorldCat.org.
There are no stop words for any of the indexes, except these two:
* Access Method index does not include the “words” http or https
* Title index doesn’t include the the words -- a, als, am, an, are, as, at, auf, aus, be, but, by, das, dass, de, der, des, dich, dir, du, er, es, for, from, had, have, he, her, his, how, ihr, ihre, ihres, im, in, is, ist, it, kein, la, le, les, mein, mich, mir, mit, of, on, sein, sie, that, the, this, to, un, une, von, was, wer, which, wie, wird, with, yousie, that, the, this, to, un, une, von, was, wer, which, wie, wird, with, you.
The phrase index assumes that the search string matches the data being searched in its entirety. Further the data searched in the phrase index includes all the data within a single subfield of a Bibliographic MARC record.
So for example the subject phrase includes all the data in the marc subfields such as 650/a,x,y,z. So if there is an example record which includes [650 #a Nuclear Power Plants #x Safety Measures #z California] then the searches that would be entered to retrieve this record would be “nuclear power plants” and “safety measures” and “California”. Each portion of the data is handled as a distinct phrase search. The suggested strategy in searching for records that contain those subheadings is to AND those terms together.
Limits are only available for searching if it is included with a Boolean AND or NOT to another search term from a non-limit index. Limits can not be searched alone or combined with a Boolean OR.
For right truncation use an asterisk - * There must be at least three characters before the * for the query to work. There is no left truncation.
To wildcard a single character wildcard use a number sign - #. So a query for wom#n provides results that include both woman and women in the results.
For a 0-9 number of characters as wildcard characters use ?n. So a query for colo?1r provides results of color and colour.
To wildcard characters within (or at the end) a term use the question mark - ?. So a query for colo?r provides results of color, colour, colonizer, and colorimeter
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