May 16, 2016

Find just what you’re looking for with field codes

It's not a secret that how you search in NoveList is a personal preference. I love field codes and use them whenever possible because I want results from a single search rather than using the limiter tools (which may take several steps).

Constructing searches using field codes also allows me to email a search to another person with the instructions to paste it into the search box. Voilà! On target results.

What are they, anyway?

Field codes are the two letter search tags assigned to indexed information in the NoveList databases.  Combine them with Boolean operators and you have an incredibly powerful tool for accessing NoveList content (and I mean all content -- authors, books, series, lists, and articles).

Check out all our resources on field codes, including the full list of field codes, a cheat sheet, and a search strategy.

Quick quiz: What am I looking for?

(GN fantasy AND ND book AND DT > 20110101 AND (DM 4 OR DM 5) AND AC American AND AG male) NOT RL 1




I'm looking for fantasy books published after January 1, 2011 and written by a male American. The books must have four or five popularity stars and none should be cataloged at the adult reading level.

This search gave me a list of 95 books to review.

A few more tips:

  • All field codes must be capitalized.
    •  If you enter a field code that can also be a word and is not capitalized, NoveList assumes that you want to search for that word rather than the field code. For example, DE is a field code in NoveList Plus. If you search De Paola, Tomie, you will get keyword search results for the author. But, if you enter DE Paola, you will get no results.
  • Correct spelling and punctuation is essential for field codes that perform an exact search.

Krista Biggs is an Editor/Bibliographer at NoveList. She's an attendee of food festivals, provider of cat kibble, and book omnivore. Want to hear more from her? Sign up for Krista's Book Squad email updates. 

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