Searching RACER

What am I searching?

RACER can search for a particular item in many different library catalogues at once using the Z39.50 protocol.

Catalogues are organized into Profiles. Some of these are location based, while others are grouped by function or discipline. By default, you are searching Ontario universities including your own. 

Dropdown menu for "current profile" is open to reveal the different library groups, with "ontatrio universities" highlighted.

Selecting a profile will automatically select all locations in that profile. You can remove locations you do not wish to search by unchecking the box next to their name. You can also select or deselect all schools from the bottom of the list.

Checking and unchecking individual schools within a group. The Select All/Deselect All boxes at the bottom of the list are highlighted.

For more information on what is being searched at each location, click the information (blue i) button. A small new window will appear:

Example of a school information window. Simon Fraser Library Catalogue combines the collections of the main library, the WAC Bennett Library (Burnaby) with those at SFU (Surrey) and SFU (Vancouver). Their holdings support studies in the applied sciences, arts, business, education, health studies, and sciences.

In addition to using the default profiles, it is possible to create a custom profile which can include any of the available catalogues. To do this, select Search Profiles from the side menu and then click the Create button:

View to create a new search profile.

Select desired catalogues, name your new profile, and click the Save button. You can also add a description. This profile will appear at the top of the list the next time you search catalogues in your RACER account.

Create Profile page with categories filled out.


Running an advanced search

Screenshot of advanced search screen.


Running an advanced search gives you better control over the results returned. You can search in a number of different fields at the same time, and even specify terms you don’t want to search on.

NOTE: Because RACER is searching catalogues, you should search for the title of the journal, rather than the title of the article. When you get to the request form you will be able to enter specific volume and issue information.


Search Results

Once you hit search, you will see RACER's status is "Connecting." This means it is sending a request out to all of the catalogues. Running a search may take a minute; RACER is looking in a lot of places! Once your search has been run, the status wil change to "Presenting." This status sites at the bottom of the results page, along with details about how many items came back.

Image of the search results page.