Skip to content
Penn State University Libraries

Create Dynamic Links for CAT searches

Anyone can add links to CAT searches, to their course Web pages, ANGEL page or other locations enabling immediate access to individual catalog records and even 'dynamic' bibliographies made of title listings in the CAT.

Please note the following character substitutions needed:

  • Curly Brackets  ( { } ) - substitute %7B for the left curly bracket ({) and %7D for the right/closing curly bracket (}). You may also have to substute %20 for spaces in the link.
  • Ampersand ( & ) - use & instead

How It Works

The basic URL used to invoke a search in the CAT is:

The type of search that is executed depends on the text string that follows the equals sign at the end of the search URL above. For example, if you would like to link to a specific record of a book or other item found in the CAT, then an ISBN search would be the most direct means of accessing the record:{020}

in the CMS use

The number 0070167818, found after the equals sign, is the ISBN to a particular book owned by the University Libraries. The number 020, in curly brackets, is the field number identifying the ISBN record. This URL thus commands the CAT to carry out a search of the given ISBN in the special 020 field designated for this.

If you would like to carry out a dynamic search, providing visitors to your Web site a listing of titles from the CAT, a variety of search keys can be invoked with the above basic search URL.


Using Search Terms

With some minor exceptions, the same search terms , fields, and syntax used for advanced keyword searching can be added to the URL after the equals sign in the basic search URL. Thus, one can easily carry out an author search, in effect creating a 'local bibliography' of holdings at Penn State, with the AU command: eco{AU}

This link invokes a CAT search for Umberto Eco as author. Additional search keys include title {TI}, subject {SU}, series {SER}, periodicals {PER}, as well as the indexed MARC fields such as personal author {100}, corporate author {110}, and publisher {260}.

It is also possible to link multiple search keys, as well as use the CAT's punctuation, in a single search string: eco{AU}AND language${TI}

The above URL carries out a search for all books by Umberto Eco as author with the truncated word 'language' in the title.

With a little practice, one can become very creative in carrying out different types of searches. Try to guess what search is being executed with the following URL (click the link to see what search is being executed):{SER} AND peachpit{260} AND 2000{PBYR}

NOTE: While it is possible to include spaces in your URL, in your browser they will be interpreted as the string %20.

Additional Search Terms
  • library=ALL
    (Can be ALL or any single library or search library policy name.)
  • language=ANY
    (Can be ANY or any single language policy name, e.g. ENGLISH.)
  • pubyear=
    (Can be a single year or a range of years, e.g. 2002, >2002, <2002, >=2002, <=2002, or 2002-2004. Note that
    the last of those range formats is inclusive of the end dates.)
  • format=ANY
    (Can be ANY or any single MARC format policy name.)
  • item_type=ANY
    (Can be ANY, any single item type policy name, or two or more policy names joined with OR, e.g. BOOK+OR+REF-BOOK+OR+NEW-BOOK.)
  • location=ANY
    (Can be ANY or any single location policy name. Note that this only searches the home location, not the current
  • item_1cat=ANY
    (Can be ANY or any single item category 1 policy name.)
  • item_2cat=ANY
    (Can be ANY or any single item category 2 policy name.)


Including A Search in Your Web Page

Embedding the search URL that you've constructed in your Web page is as simple as creating any other link. Using your Web page editor, select the text you wish to hyperlink and add the search URL just as you would add any other valid URL for creating links. The following HTML code:

<a href="{SU}">Books About Papermaking,</a>

will create the following linked text in a Web page:   Books About Papermaking

This link executes a subject search in the CAT on the topic of papermaking, effectively creating a 'dynamic' bibliography for users of your Web page.

Creating your own links can be just as easy, try it! If you have any problems creating your own links don't hesitate to contact a librarian for further assistance.