Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Using the ASU Library Catalog



This search finds works by a person, organization, or conference, and can include composers, artists, editors, etc. For example:

  • To locate a book by Jerome S. Bruner:
    • Enter the last name first  Bruner Jerome S.
    • Or just the last name Bruner
  • To find a publication by the Sierra Club:
    • Enter Sierra Club
  • If unsure about the spelling of the last name (e.g. Hemingway), enter the first few letters and browse the alphabetical list Heming


This search combines in one step an author search limited by words in the title. The AUTHOR/TITLE search is especially helpful when trying to locate works by an author with a common name (e.g. Smith) or by a very prolific author (e.g. F. Scott Fitzgerald).

  • Enter the author in the first box →  Fitzgerald, F. Scott
  • Enter the title in the second box →  Tender is the Night
  • If unsure about the spelling of the last name and/or the exact title:
    • Enter →  Fitzger
    • Enter Tender


This search displays an alphabetical list by title of books, journals, series, maps, music, microfilm—all titles in the Library Catalog regardless of format.

  • Enter the exact title of the item Pride and Prejudice
  • If unsure about the complete title, enter the first few words and browse the list →  Pride and

Journal Title

To find the titles of journals, newspapers, and other serials (such as annuals, directories, proceedings, yearbooks, etc.) do a JOURNAL search. You cannot use the library catalog to find journal articles, only the journal as a set. See Finding Legal Articles.

  • Enter the title of the journal Newsweek
  • Enter the title of the serial World Almanac
  • If unsure about the complete title of the journal, etc., enter the first few words and browse the list Journal of Child


This is not a keyword search, but a search using Library of Congress Subject Headings. Subject headings refer to specific terms which describe the content of the work.

  • Enter the main subject heading and subheading →  Deserts--Arizona
  • Or enter the subheading, then the heading →  Arizona Deserts

As long as only one subheading is used, the order of the heading and subheading is not important. If the term entered is not a Library of Congress Subject Heading, an alphabetical list of "close" subject headings will appear for browsing.



KEYWORDS are words or numbers searched from titles, subject headings, corporate authors (including conference names), series titles, and content notes.

  • Entering words from the title Dragoons New York retrieves Regimental History of the First New York Dragoons.

Call Number and Other Numbers

This search finds items by using the Call Number, ISBN/ISSN number, government document number, or publisher number.

  • Enter the call number →  CS 16.W53
    • Punctuation and capitalization do not matter →  cs16w53
  • Enter the ISSN number →  01605569

Advanced Search Tips


When searching by TITLE, AUTHOR, KEYWORD, and SUBJECT Heading, use LIMIT to narrow the results by year of publication, language, material type, publisher, where item is located, words in the TITLE, words in the AUTHOR, and words in the SUBJECT.


To find all of the variations in word-endings, do a KEYWORD search and use an asterisk * symbol after the word root or stem. For example:

  • To locate items related to the use of robotics in the automobile industry:
    • Enter →  automo* robot*

Truncation is only for KEYWORD searches; however, AUTHOR, TITLE, SUBJECT and CALL Number searches automatically display all items beginning with the search term. For example:

  • An AUTHOR search on Asimov finds → 
    • Asimov Isaac 1920
    • Asimov Janet
    • Asimov Stanley 1929
BOOLEAN: Only for KEYWORD Searches

The Boolean operators—and, or, not—can only be used for KEYWORD searches.

The and operator is assumed between words. The system processes the and's and not's first, then the or's. Parentheses may be used to construct complex searches. For example:

  • To find a specific conference proceeding on computer technology
    • Enter →  Computer Technology Proceedings (Third or 3rd)
  • "And" and "Or" are combined to construct the following complex search →  (stress or anxiety) and (counseling or therapy)
  • Use "Not" to eliminate words panic disorder treatment not agoraphobia

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