Please answer LibraryThing related questions here (and on the other Help and FAQ pages). To ASK questions, however, please use Talk.
 Types of search on LibraryThing
There are 3 main search venues for book-related information on LibraryThing:
- Site-wide search: searching across the whole site for books, authors, ISBN, tags, etc.
- Catalog search: searching within a particular member's catalog for books, authors, tags, etc.
- Common Knowledge search: searching within the global, user-provided Common Knowledge data for various information.
Each of these methods has access to different sets of data and uses specialized search engines tuned to give the best performance for that particular data.
 Site-wide Search
 How do I execute a site-wide search to find a particular book, author, or tag page?
Use the Search box at the top-right corner of each page. Entering a term and pressing return or clicking the magnifying glass icon will issue a site-wide search query, defaulting to searching Works. Omitting any text in the box and clicking the magnifying glass icon will take you to the search page where you can select other search options before searching.
For more detailed information, see Site-wide Search
 Catalog Search
 How do I search a catalog for books, tags, comments?
- You may search within a catalog from one of two places:
- The Other searches section of the site-wide search page (described above)
- The Search this library/Search your library search bar near the top of a member's catalog pages.
 Catalog search syntax
- In the catalog search terms are character strings not keywords. So a search for fiction will also hit nonfiction.
- Catalog searches can contain special modifiers that you can use to narrow your search. See the table below for a list of the modifiers and what they search.
- Negative searches are possible within a catalog using a minus/dash before the search term.
- Search terms are separated by spaces. You may search for a character string including a space by using quotes, e.g. "civil war".
 Sample searches
|Search syntax||Search result|
|potter||all books that match potter anywhere in the data|
|harry -potter||all books with harry in them, minus those with potter in them|
|harry potter title:-phoenix||all Harry Potter books except Order of the Phoenix|
|atlas "non-fiction"||quotes must be used when search for items with a hyphen (-) in them.|
|"The Green Mile"||items that match the quoted term exactly (or have that exact phrase within them)|
|tag:history||all books tagged history|
|tag:-history||all books not tagged history|
|comment:""||all books with empty comments|
|tag:xxx tag:yyy or tag:xxx yyy||books that have been assigned one of these tags, or both|
|tag:xxx tag:-yyy or tag:xxx -yyy||books that have been assigned one tag, but not another|
|tag:"science fiction"||multi-word tags|
|art|history||books with art or history; notice the | (pipe) character between the search terms. This character is often found just above your enter or return key on your keyboard, although results may vary. Do not use spaces before or after the pipe.|
 Acceptable modifier prefixes
|Modifier prefix||Searches these catalog columns|
|all:||title, author, tags, ISBN, date, lcc, publication, dewey, source, subjects, comments, review, other authors, private comment*|
|most:||title, author, tags, ISBN, date, lcc, publication, dewey, source, comments, other authors, private comment*|
|titleandauthor:||title, author, other authors|
|author:||author, other authors|
|tag: or tags:||tags|
|source:||book data source (e.g. Amazon)|
|comment: or comments:||comments|
|review: or reviews:||review|
|titleandauthorandsubjects:||title, author, subjects, other authors|
* private comments are only searchable within your own catalog. That's why they're private.
** awaiting release
 What if the search is returning the wrong results and I know they are the wrong results?
This is most often because the search index for your catalog is somehow not up to date. The good news is that you can correct this any time you want by clicking here to index your catalog for search. This will rebuild the index for your catalog. If you are still getting inconsistent results then try posting a question about it on the Bug Collectors group.
 What about non-Latin character sets like Japanese characters?
We are still working through some small issues with multibyte Unicode character sets. Until we get them working perfectly you can put quotes around your search like this: "辞典".
 Common Knowledge Search
Common Knowledge is often referred to simply as CK.
 Accessing CK search
There are three main ways to search CK data. The most general is accessed via the link at the foot of every page on LibraryThing called Common Knowledge, which takes you to this page. At the top of that page is a simple search interface, explained in the next section.
The second way to search CK is via any page which displays CK data - a work page or an author page, for instance. All CK data is linked. Thus, if you are viewing an author page where the author's date of birth is entered in the CK section, clicking on that field shows you all other authors with the same date of birth.
The third way is through the Site-wide search. Currently, only Awards, Characters and Places can be searched via this method.
 General CK search
The search box near the top right of the CK page (near the "facts and counting" label) allows you to search either a single CK field (such as Agent or Nationality) or all fields. Use the left-hand box to enter what you want to search for, and the right-hand drop-down list to choose which field to search. All fields searches all CK fields. The very last option - username - allows you to search not the data itself, but its creators. Putting timspalding in the search box and choosing Username as the search field finds all CK data entered by LibraryThing's founder, for instance.
 Known Problems
CK search isn't perfect. We should list some problems here.