Acorn and DiscoverLibrary: What's the Difference?

Acorn and DiscoverLibrary both tell you what the Vanderbilt libraries own or provide access to. But they differ in a number of ways.

This page compares selected features of Acorn and DiscoverLibrary. See Acorn help and DiscoverLibrary help for more detailed information about each system.

Overview

What do they search?

  Acorn DiscoverLibrary
What does it search? Information about the books, journals, CDs, DVDs, government documents, etc., (but NOT journal articles) that the Vanderbilt libraries own or provide access to Same as Acorn, plus information about the contents of the TV News Archive, Global Music Archive, DiscoverArchive, Art in the Christian Tradition, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, and a selection of full-text articles

You can limit your search to only what Acorn searches, and use DiscoverLibrary as a different way into the Acorn catalog

Searching

Ways to combine search words, ways to get results that include variants on search words, advanced searching options

  Acorn DiscoverLibrary
To get results containing all of your search words Join search words with and

e.g., preaching and postmodernism

Note: if you don't join the search words with "and," you won't get results where, e.g., one search word appears in the title and another in the table of contents. In other words, if you don't use "and," you may get more restrictive results
and is the default; no need to add it to your search

e.g., preaching postmodernism
To get results containing at least one of your search words Join search words with or

e.g., preaching or postmodernism
Join search words with OR (must be capitalized)

e.g., preaching OR postmodernism
To get results containing one thing but not another Join search words with not

e.g., preaching not postmodernism
Join search words with NOT (must be capitalized)

e.g., preaching NOT postmodernism
To get results containing a phrase Surround phrase with single quotes

e.g., 'theological anthropology'
Choose "with my exact phrase" from one of the dropdowns below the search box, or surround phrase with double quotes

e.g., "theological anthropology"
Will my results contain variants on my search terms? No

If you search postmodernism, you'll get results containing postmodernism -- but not postmodern or postmodernity
Kind of

If you search postmodernism, you'll get results containing postmodernism and postmodern -- but not postmodernity
So how do I get a complete list of results that contain variants of search terms? Add a $

e.g., postmodern$ retrieves items that contain the words postmodern, postmodernism, postmodernity, etc.

NOTE: use of $ can be problematic; some searches will only return partial results (with the message "Truncation matched too many keywords--partial results returned")
Add an *

e.g., postmodern* retrieves items that contain the words postmodern, postmodernism, postmodernity, etc.
Does capitalization matter? No

e.g., a search for alain badiou is the same as a search for Alain Badiou

Only when you use AND, OR, or NOT


Otherwise, a search for alain badiou is the same as a search for Alain Badiou

Is advanced searching available? Yes

search by keyword, title, author, subject, etc.; limit by library, language, publication date, etc.
Yes

search by keyword, title, author, subject, etc.; limit by language, publication date, etc.

Results

What you get in your search results, sort order, narrowing your results, doing related searches, using your results (saving, e-mailing, etc.)

  Acorn DiscoverLibrary
What's included in your results Anything that matches your search terms from among the books, journals, CDs, DVDs, government documents, etc. (but NOT journal articles) that the Vanderbilt libraries own or provide access to

Remember: Acorn only searches descriptions of books, journals, etc. -- not full text
Depends

If you use the default search ("Everything"), you'll get what matches your search terms in Acorn plus what matches from the TV News Archive, Global Music Archive, DiscoverArchive, Art in the Christian Tradition, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, and a selection of full-text articles

Or you can limit your search to one resource, e.g., Acorn, TV News Archive, etc.
Default sort order Reverse chronological (newest to oldest) Relevance
Other sorting options Alphabetical by author, title, subject; chronological (oldest to newest) Alphabetical by author, title; reverse chronological (newest to oldest); popularity (as determined by user votes)
How do I narrow my results? Click the "Limit Search" link in the gray band above your search results and add search words, narrow by date, etc. Use the "Refine My Results" sidebar that appears to the left of your search results to narrow by Topic, Creator, etc.
Is there help with creating related searches? Depends

A list of related subjects may appear to the right of your search results, in a section labeled "Try these too . . ."
Yes

A list of related authors and subjects will appear to the left of your search results, in a section labeled "Suggested New Searches" (below the "Refine My Results" section)
What can I do with my search results? Print, e-mail Print, e-mail, save to EndNote Web, add to your e-shelf (your online DiscoverLibrary account), get a permanent link that points to the record, etc.
Can I do anything with the searches that I run? If you log into your Acorn account, you can create alerts for authors and subjects that you find among your search results

When the library gets more items by that author or on that subject, you'll be notified by e-mail (more details)
If you log into your DiscoverLibrary account, you can create alerts from any of the searches that you do, or you can just save the searches without creating an alert

If you set up an alert, when the library gets more items that match the search, you'll be notified. You can be notified by e-mail or by an RSS feed (more details)
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