The quickest ways to search TOPCAT are by title and author. Use these if you have specific items in mind, like when your Prof recommends a book or an author.
Here's what the homepage of TOPCAT looks like.
When you do this, TOPCAT provides an alphabetical list of ALL authors in the database, starting where your author should appear.
Don't type too much information, because there's more chance of getting it wrong. Remember that a browse has to be specific, because it looks for a place in a list.
Enter only the last name of the author, and a first initial if needed. (mitchell w)
|To find books by:||Enter:||Results / Because:|
|Tom Eadie||eadie||A list of authors with the last name of "Eadie".
It's a short list because "Eadie" is a unique name, so you can easily find the right one on the list.
|R. Douglas Evans||evans r||A list of authors with the last name "Evans" and a first initial "R".
"Evans" is a common name, so adding a first initial shortens the list you get.
|Michael Von Albrecht||albrecht m||A list of authors with the last name "Albrecht".
This name is listed as "Albrecht, Michael Von".
Try searching for one of the authors above, or think of a different author to search for.
You can also search for a author by keyword. It's not as specific as a browse, but it's useful if you don't know the correct name exactly, or if there are multiple authors.
You'll be shown a list of all the items in TOPCAT with that name as an author.
It's not unusual for academic books to have several authors. You can shorten the list of results by entering several authors' last names, and TOPCAT will find items with all the names as authors.
The Keyword Searching tutorial provides more detail on joining search terms. It's the next tutorial you should read, but there's a link below in case you want to peek at it now.
The results look different from a browse search:
Look through the results and click on items that look useful to find out more about them.
Look for books with several authors. See what results you get. Think of your own combinations or use one of these:
Authors aren't always people. Sometimes an author is an organization or corporation.
Look for corporate authors just the same as people.
Look for books by some of the following authors. Try keyword and browse searches, to compare results.