BHCARLibrary Wiki

Topic 2: Accessing OCLC FirstSearch[]

Purpose: OCLC FirstSearch gives Carroll students access to citations (books, articles, dissertations, conference proceedings, etc.). Some materials are available in Full Text. Here are the basics to access OCLC FirstSearch: Beginning in August 2014, Carroll added Spanish-language indexing (from the database Clase Periodica) to its OCLC interface.

  1. Carroll Students, access the Carroll Homepage at using the preferred Firefox browser
  2. Choose Student
  3. Choose Resources
  4. Choose My Courses (Carroll Learning Center)
  5. Give your Login and Password
  6. Choose the "Triple Gate"- 3 horizontal bars icon (top right) for the Library
  7. Choose OCLC FirstSearch

Note: as of July 1, 2010, OCLC FirstSearch dropped two databases from its interface: ATLA Religion, and ATLA Serials (also called 'ATLAS'). To search these databases, follow this link to our special topic, EBSCO

Note: as of July 2011, OCLC FirstSearch dropped a database from its interface: Wilson Select Full Text. To search this databbase, follow this link to our special topic, Wilson Web

Note: as of August 2011, the new NexLearn interface prefers the Firefox browser

Note: Beginning in August 2014, Carroll added Spanish-language indexing (from the database Clase Periodica) to its OCLC interface.

Topic 2A: Searching OCLC FirstSearch[]

  1. Recommended: Choose Databases' tab
  2. Recommended: Select one or more of the following: ArticleFirst, ATLA Group Catalog, Clase Periodica ERIC, Medline, WorldCat, and/or WorldCat Dissertations
  3. Type in a search (i.e., Calvinism) and select the Search button
  4. Choose an entry to view citation or full text (when available)
  5. Save, print, or email selected citations

Trouble with access? Please send comments or questions to me

Learn where to find video versions of the Carroll Tutorials here...

Topic 2B: Researching OCLC FirstSearch[]

Purpose: Go deeper by refining search strategies in OCLC FirstSearch; like a "rerun" on TV, "research" means "look again."

Try these 5 strategies:

Strategy 1: What are you looking for?

In FirstSearch, different resources look for different types of information. Separating and combining the right resources will help you target your searching

If you need: Then use: You'll get:
Spanish or Portugese language citations Clase Periodica Spanish or Portugese language citations
Article citations Article First, ERIC, Medline, Wilson Select Article citations
Book citations ATLA Group Catalog, WorldCat Book citations
Dissertation citations WorldCat Dissertations Dissertation citations
Education citations ERIC Education citations

Strategy 2: Do you need a one-two punch?

Though this database no longer contains materials that are able to be read online (called 'full text'), citations for items that are not full text are still valuable (see Strategy 4 below)

Strategy 3: What terms describe what you're searching for?

Keep a list of search terms you'v used, and of ones you find while searching. Both "abominable snowman" and "yeti" describe the same thing, but some citations may use both terms, and some only one- or the other! Make separate searches with alternative terms; mix it up to see if you've found all there is to find.

Strategy 4: What do I do with these citations?

Please send comments or questions to Even a citation you find that isn't in full text (i.e., readable on screen) may be obtainable. I can help you determine your options and let you decide when and how to pursue them. I say a bit more about this here TIP: I noticed the very appealing form that pops up in FirstSearch fails to send after you fill it out; I'll look into it and update. Meantime, email the citation to me direct!

Strategy 5: Learn more about searching

OCLC FirstSearch's official search help brochure:



Or, click the ? beside this resource in NexLearn for a tutorial

OCLC FirstSearch's official list of what journals, magazines, and newspapers are offered in each of its databases (choose a database, like ATLA Religion, from the menu)

OCLC FirstSearch's official title finder (type in the name of a magazine, journal, or newspaper, to see if it's in OCLC FirstSearch, and what database to use to see article information for that publication)

OCLC's overview of all its databases offered

OCLC's description of the Spanish language index Clause Periodica includes this data:

Index of 2,700 titles from Latin American journals (also essays and books) published in the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English in the areas sciences and humanities (including, but not limited to, history, philosophy, psychology, and religion) by Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).


TIP: Find the name of a publication you'd like to search for from the finder or list in Strategy 5 above? Take down that name, and then do this:

Access FirstSearch (as above in Topic 2)

Search FirstSearch (as in Topic 2A above, but with this change between Step 3 and Step 4)

  • type in the title of the publication you want to search for (in the first empty box)
  • select the "Keyword" box beside it, and from the pull-down menu, choose Source
  • then type in your search term in the next empty box, and the choose the "Search" button

Your results will only come from the publication title (Source) you preselected!

Trouble with access? Please send comments or questions to me

Another TIP: Here's a list of other databases in OCLC FirstSearch you can access for citations:

For article citations: ArticleFirst, and ECO

For book citations: ATLA Group Catalog, and Ebooks

Why are these databases citation only? BHCTI doesn't subscribe to the full text content these databases list separately. Select Wilson Select Full Text instead when you're looking for full text articles (Topic 2); for full text books, try Topic 3, Topic 4, Topic 5, Topic 6, and [[Topic 7: Google Book Search|Topic 7

Carroll flag flies in Midland, Texas


Topic 7: Google Book Search

Topic 7: Google Book Search

Topic 7: Google Book Search