The Quick Search feature of RDA Toolkit seems simple enough. Just type in your search term or terms and away you go. But there are ways to return better results without having to click through to the Advanced Search form. The following tips will allow you to get a bit more out of Quick Search, including getting more precise results and improving recall for your query.
By "phrasing," I mean use quotation marks. A quick search query will look for hits on each term, so a search on a phrase that contains terms with wide use can return a large hit list. For example, quick search of variant title and you will get 113 results. Of those results the first three hits are to instructions on variant access points. But if you simply add " ", you will greatly improve the precision of your results. A search of "variant title" will return 69 hits, and the first hit is the core instruction on variant titles. Phrasing is demonstrated in the following video.
We often get requests to add a wildcard search to RDA Toolkit, and our answer is always the same...it's already there. Some catalogers are used to using a ? as their wildcard because that is how their ILS operates. RDA Toolkit, however, uses an asterisk for widlcard searching. Wildcards are of course very useful when you are uncertain of the spelling or form of a search term. For example, a search of abbreviation returns 31 hits. Adding an * to the end of that same search term returns 60 hits. A search of abbreviat* will look for abbreviate, abbreviated, abbreviating, abbreviation, and abbreviations and return 93 hits, a considerable improvement in recall from our original search. Using a wildcard is demonstrated in the following video.
Credit for this last tip goes to Tim Carlton of the Library of Congress. You might find yourself well into a chapter, and you look at the expanded TOC to the left and know that there is alot of scrolling before you can get back to the top of the chapter. Save yourself the scrolling and simply type the first RDA number for the chapter you are in. You likely already know that you can simply input a RDA number in Quick Search, and you will be zipped to that very spot. So to jump to the top level of the RDA TOC, simply search chapter number + .0. So if you are deep in the woods of Chapter 6 and are ready to get out to a clearing, simply search 6.0, and you will be back at the start of the chapter. Using a .0 search is demonstrated in the following video.