Catalog Search Tips

Copyright.com provides a simple-to-use Basic Search option. Additional options to narrow your search are available through Advanced Search Options.

Basic Search

Basic Search is found at the top right of most copyright.com pages, or in the center of the homepage. With Basic Search, you can search using either Publication Title or Standard Number (ISBN/ISSN).*

Simply enter the publication title or a standard number and all publication titles and standard numbers will be searched for a match.

Advanced Search Options

Selecting Advanced Search Options provides you with the ability to narrow your search by additional criteria such as Publisher*, Series Name, Author (books only) or Editor, Publication Type, Country of Publication, and Language.

Using Advanced Search Options will surface the publication’s availability for the Pay-Per-Use services that you choose within the search results by clicking the “View selected permission options” link. This allows you to begin the order process directly from your search results.

*If you search by publisher, the current copyright holder (rightsholder) is also searched. All publications with a matching publisher name or matching copyright holder are included in the search results.

Search Tips

  • Keyword Searching
    • This is the most general method of searching. Enter words in any order.
      For Example: A search by Publication Name for BUSINESS WEEK will return all publications containing those words in any order, such as “AVIATION WEEK’S KNOWLEDGE BUSINESS”.
    • Searches are not case sensitive.
  • Standard Numbers (ISBN, ISSN, OCLC, LCCN)
    • Standard numbers are the quickest way to get to an exact match.
    • Standard numbers may be entered with or without hyphens. If you use hyphens, they must be in the correct place.
    • Do not use spaces in place of hyphens.
    • If you do not find what you are looking for when searching by Standard Number, try searching by Publication Title
  • Abbreviations & Acronyms
    • Common publication name and publisher name abbreviations may be entered in search fields
      Example 1: A search for GOVT will return results such as “GOVT. CONTRACT LAW” as well as “AMERICAN GOVERNMENT”.
      Example 2: A search for ACS will return results such as “ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY” as well as “AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY JOURNAL”.
      (Note: This feature does not apply to the Standard Number (ISBN/ISSN) and Author/Editor fields)
  • Boolean Operators
    • And (&) – This operator requires all terms to be present in order to satisfy the search criteria. The ‘and’ operator is the default Boolean operator when none is specified.
      For Example: A search for NEW YORK TIMES is the same as a search for NEW & YORK & TIMES. Note that you may use either the ampersand (&) or the word ‘and’.
    • Or (|) – This operator requires either term to be present to satisfy the criteria.
      For Example: A search for FINANCE | DEBT will return results that contain the term “FINANCE” or the term “DEBT” or both.
    • Not – This operator requires only the term to the left of the operator to be present to satisfy the search criteria.
      For Example: A search for FINANCE not DEBT will return results that contain the term “FINANCE” and DO NOT contain the term “DEBT”.
      (Note: The operator has no single character equivalent. You must use the word ‘not’.)
  • Phrase Searching
    • Use double quotation marks around a phrase to search for exact matches.
      For Example: A search for “BUSINESS WEEK” will return all publications with the phrase “Business Week” exactly as referenced within the quotes.
      (Note: Without using quotes, the above search is the same as BUSINESS & WEEK. With the quotes, you are limiting your results to those that contain “Business” and “Week” in that order with no other separating terms.)
  • Case Sensitivity
    • Copyright.com searches are not case sensitive.
      For Example: A search for business week is the same as a search for BUSINESS WEEK
  • Wildcard Support
    • Copyright.com supports wild card searches using an asterisk (*).
      For Example: A search for bus* week will return results such as BUSINESS WEEK
  • Ignored words
    • The following commonly used words occur so frequently that they are not indexed by copyright.com. Using these words in your search queries will neither harm nor help in finding results:a, an, and, as, at, auf, be, by, ca, can, ce, cela, ci, con, d, das, de, der, des, du, el, en, et, for, from, i, ich, il, ils, in, is, it, je, la, no, of, on, or, por, s, so, the, to, was
  • Spellcheck
    • If you enter a query in the Publication Title field that returns no results, copyright.com will compare your query to titles in the database that closely match it, if any, and return those results.
  • Searching for Cartoons
    • Search for a cartoon by using the cartoon name as the title. Do not search for a cartoon by using the name of the newspaper. Since many cartoons are syndicated, the newspaper cannot authorize permission to use them.**
      For Example: If you wish to use a copy of Calvin and Hobbes published in your daily newspaper, enter CALVIN AND HOBBES as the title.**Note: New Yorker cartoons are an exception. To search for a New Yorker cartoon, use the cartoon caption as the title. You can also search by using “The Cartoon Bank” as the Publisher Name.

Search Results

Your search results are pre-sorted to increase the likelihood of a match within the first page. Results are sorted in the following order:

  • Most frequently requested publications that match your words.
  • Remaining results that exactly match your search criteria, with no additional words.
  • Remaining results that contains your search criteria as an exact phrase but may contain other words as well.
  • Remaining results that contain any words used within your search criteria

To determine the types of use (i.e. photocopy, email, etc) that are available for a given result when using copyright.com’s Basic Search, simply select the “Permission Options” button from the result list.

The search results may provide specific terms and conditions as requested by the current copyright owner. Click the Terms apply link to view any terms associated with this title.