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Tutorials on Using Databases

Government Publication SuDoc Numbers

The Superintendent of Documents uses an alpha/numeric classification system which assigns a SuDoc number to each publication.  This system classifies each document by the agency or department that issues the document, not by subject.  For example SuDoc classification is for materials issued by the Agriculture Department.  Consequently it is impossible to browse the collection since each agency/department issues documents on various subjects.

  Explanation of the SuDoc Classification System

Quick Tips:

  • The dot (.) is a period, not a decimal.
  • All numbers are whole numbers, not decimals (.9 comes before .12)
  • Letters come before numbers
  • Nothing comes before something (for ex. AE 1.102 : G 28 precedes AE 1.102 : G 28/2/Trans.7)     


RefWorks is a bibliographic citation management software that allows you to create your own database. Generate bibliographies in hundreds of formats, including APA, MLA, and Turabian. Use the Write-N-Cite plugin to format papers. Registration is only available to University of Memphis students, faculty, and staff. Individuals must set up their own usernames and passwords with RefWorks. 

WorldCat Local

WorldCat provides information on holdings information from OCLC member libraries. Includes books, maps, music scores, videos, serials, as well as manuscripts written as early as the 12th century. 

  • Two access points:
    • NEW WorldCat: (aka WorldCat Local) WorldCat Local lets you find everything you need with one simple search interface.  It’s a way for you to locate books, articles, journals, videos and other items of interest in your library or other libraries.  You can search the WorldCat database and, if your library makes them available, other specialized databases. These searches (in WorldCat or other databases) may produce direct links to articles and other resources in these databases. To access these resources, though, you may first be required to log in using your library membership.  If you are using this site from physically within a WorldCat library or over an Internet connection recognized by the library (such as a campus-wide network), you may be able to link to the full text of an article right from the Item Details screen.

(WorldCat Local, basic search.)

(WorldCat Local, advanced search.)

    • WorldCat Classic: Allows for more sophisticated searching (Basic, Advanced, and Expert)
      • Advanced Search (see image at right) permits Subject searching, Language searching, # of Libraries searching, and more.
      • Expert Search (see image below) permits Advanced level searching plus Index searching, and sophisticated Boolean searching, and more.

(WorldCat Classic, Expert search screen.)

(WorldCat Classic, Advanced search screen.)

  • Use this link to find the WorldCat Help Contents, featuring:
    • Help with Searching (and Advanced Searching),
    • Help with Search Results, and
    • Help Finding a Copy of an Item.
    • Link also includes access to Searching the Help Menu ("Search Help") and a Glossary.