UW-Madison Libraries Search Box: Dropdown Options

This tutorial will explain how to find UW-Madison Libraries materials using the dropdown Search menu options.

Catalog Search: Books, Magazines, Streaming Videos, and more

Library website with Search dropdown menu open and Catalog selected

When searching the UW-Madison Libraries’ catalog, you will find materials the Libraries have purchased, such as:

  • Books
  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • DVDs
  • Board games
  • Video games
  • Etc.

A catalog search also shows materials that the Libraries have licensed:

  • E-books
  • Online Journals
  • Streaming Videos
  • Etc.

The default catalog search is set to include both UW-Madison and UW System resources. To search only items at UW-Madison, select the “Limit to UW-Madison” option found directly under the catalog search box.

Additionally, by choosing the WorldCat link at the bottom of the catalog search box on the Libraries’ homepage, you can search library catalogs from around the world. From there, you can use Interlibrary Loan to request an item be sent to any UW-Madison Library.

Articles Search: Articles

To search millions of articles licensed by UW-Madison all at the same time, go to the UW-Madison Libraries’ homepage and choose “Articles” from the drop-down menu above the search bar. You can search by topic search terms or a specific title by typing your terms into the search box that appears.

Although this is only a subset of the articles we have access to at UW-Madison, you can search through millions of articles using this option.

This search may be sufficient for some topics, but if you are completing an in-depth search or need many scholarly articles, you will need to use multiple subject specific databases from the UW Libraries’ website.

Database Search: Databases

Library website search dropdown open with Databases selected

There are several ways to search for databases and articles within the database search function.

To find a specific database, 

  1. Type the database name into the search box; 
  2. Select the “Go to this Database” button to open, and;
  3. Search within that database

If you don’t have a specific database that you would like to use,

  1. Type subject words that might be in the description of the database;
  2. Select the “Go to this Database” button to open, and; 
  3. Search within that database.

To find articles about a subject/topic you need information about, you need to find one of our thousands of databases to search. For that purpose, try one of the links below the search box:

  • Introductory Databases: This includes a list of subjects/disciplines and one introductory article database suggested to use for each. Using sources from various subjects can expand the perspective of the research.
  • Browse by Subject/Type: This leads you to a long list of subjects and disciplines. Choose one that matches your topic or area of research. Each subject link will then lead you to a list of database options.
    • Getting Started: This is a suggested database which includes a wide range of articles or other items in the subject area.
    • Core: This section includes many databases to search on the topic; some are broad and some are very specific. You will need to read the descriptions to make a choice about the database. 
    • Other boxes include more specific subsets of databases based on the subject matter.

Journal Search: Journals and Articles within Journals

There are a few ways to search for journals as well as articles within journals.

To find a specific journal: 

  1. Type the exact journal title into the search box.
  2. From the search results, select the title of the journal. There may be more than one record for the journal, make sure you click on the title of the correct edition/version.
  3. Select the “View Online” button.

To find a specific article, you have several options.

If you have the article’s DOI:

  1. Select the “Citation Search” link on the bottom of the search box.
  2. Enter the number into the DOI search box.

If you have the article title:

  1.  Enter the journal title in the search box.
  2. Navigate or search for the specific article from there.

UWDC: Digital collections, images, sound recordings, and more

The UW-Digitized Collections contain rare and unique photos, books, maps, recordings, archival documents, and more from across the UW, Wisconsin, and the world. You can search and browse items or collections.

Browse & Search UWDC Items:

To find a specific item:

  1. Type the item name into the search box. 
  2. Select the item from the list of search results. 
  3. You can view and download the item from the record.

If you don’t have a specific item that you would like to find,

  1. Type subject or topic search terms into the text box.
  2. You can refine the search from the search results page by limiting collections, formats, and more. 
  3. View and download relevant items from the record.

You can also browse collections. Collections are organized materials that span a range of subjects including art, ecology, literature, history, music, natural resources, science, social sciences, the State of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin.