Working with Search Results

Each item in a search results list provides a variety of information about that particular resource. Exactly what information is provided for an item depends upon the nature of the resource (particularly whether it is online or physical) and the source of the information (see What Is in BU Libraries Search for more about the different sources).


This label and icon tells whether the item is a book, article, journal, video, score, etc.


The title of the item. If the resource is available online, the title will be a link that goes to the online version.


The next line is usually information about the author and/or publisher of the item.

Publication Information (Citation)

For articles, the publication information (or citation) tells what journal the article was published in as well as information such as the year, volume, and page numbers.  Books and other items may have publication information pertaining to publishing houses, years of publication, and places of publication.

Location and Availability

Physical items include a location, a call number, and availability. The call number is a combination of letters and numbers that tells where on the shelves the item can be found. The BU Libraries use the Library of Congress Classification to assign call numbers. The availability information tells whether the item is currently available or checked out and in which library it can be found. Multiple copies of a single item might be found in several libraries on campus.  Click the “Get It” link to see all locations and call numbers.

View It and/or Get It

Items available online will have a View It link. Selecting this link will open up a window displaying information about the online availability. Depending upon the item, this window may display the online version or—especially for items available online from more than one source—it could display a list of online sources.  Clicking Get It links will display the locations and call numbers of all copies of an item.

More Information

The More Information link will open a box displaying additional information about the item. Depending upon the item, this information can include title, author, publisher, description, table of contents, publication date, or language, among other things.  Sometimes, this box will display links to subject terms that lead to similar items when clicked.


Some items may have a Recommendations link. If present, this link will display other items that were accessed by patrons who selected the item; such items often cover similar topics.


When the library provides more than one version of a title, the Versions link is displayed in the upper right corner of the item. Clicking on the link will display individual listings for each version of the item. Different versions may be different editions of an item or different formats (e.g., e-book vs. print book).

Sending and Saving Search Results

Items found through a search can be printed, emailed, or saved to a bibliographic manager such as RefWorks using the Send to menu on the More Information tab.

In all cases, what is being printed, emailed, or saved is the bibliographic information (title, author, publisher, etc.) and not the full text of the item, even when the item is available online. In such cases, it may be possible to save the full text by following the link to the item and downloading it there.

The Send to menu acts on one item at a time. To learn how to select multiple items to print, email, or send to RefWorks at the same time, see Saving Searches and Results.