All posts by smatheson

Things to try: custom new items lists and RSS feeds

Did you know that you can get a custom list of new items from Quicksearch? You can have it display on the screen by bookmarking your search after applying some limits and sorting, or you can have the information sent directly to the RSS feed reader of your choice. (Note RSS here is really simple syndication – a way to get updated information to your computer automatically, not Yale’s research storage service.)


You can get a list of newly acquired (not necessarily newly published) items that are relevant to you by running a catalog search in Quicksearch. Then apply a limit by Acquisition Date – perhaps “within 1 month.” You can add further limits too – perhaps only by location “Haas Arts Library.” Then choose sort by “Acquired Latest” to see the newest items added to the Quicksearch catalog. You can also adjust how many results display per page (this will also be the number of items sent to the RSS feed).


Once you have the search and limits just as you want it, you can bookmark the page or click the orange RSS icon RSS icon (right under “Previous” in the results header) to open the RSS feed in the program of your choice – for many that will be Outlook, though there are other options.


One last tip, not Quicksearch specific, is to replace your keyword search with a subject search – or limit by subject or call number – in order to produce more focused results. If subjects align well with your interest, consider removing the keyword search term altogether. For example, my test search of the past month’s acquisitions found 4 items with the keyword “copyright” and the subjects “copyright” or “intellectual property.” When I removed the keyword from the search, leaving only the “Acquisition Date” and “Subject” limits, I found four more on-point results – eight total, four that didn’t have the keyword “copyright” at all (items in non-English languages, for example).


Setup for a new items search

[click image to enlarge]

1. To search only by Library of Congress Subject Heading, leave the keyword search blank, or clear it.

2. This will set the maximum number of items in your RSS feed.

3. This sort will show the newest items acquired at the top of the list.

4. “Any of” these subjects will “or” the terms together, making a larger result set.

5. Here is the RSS icon that give you the feed address for this exact search.

6. Acquisition date limits will keep the list smaller.

What’s in Quicksearch? MORRIS records

The Law Library’s catalog, MORRIS, holds just over 900 thousand bibliographic records. When you view the entire Lillian Goldman Law Library location facet in Quicksearch, you’ll see only about 500 thousand records.

When merging the records from two different systems, we had to make some choices about what to send to the joint database that drives Quicksearch. Here’s a summary of what records are included from the Law Library catalog.

We did not send two large categories of records from MORRIS: sets of records we knew were already in Orbis, and temporary records for items on order. For example, MORRIS includes many Project MUSE ebook records. Because these are already in Orbis, we did not send these records from MORRIS. Some large sets of microform materials are excluded because they are duplicated by online materials. Serials Solutions records are also in both systems, but because Law and YUL holdings are synchronized in the Serials Solutions database, including only the YUL records will cover all the Law records.

There are also a few small sets of records for materials that are only available to law students and faculty. These are not currently loaded, but as we work out licensing issues, these sets will be added.

There is not currently any effort to de-duplicate records for titles that are held in both library systems, though this is a possibility for future development.