Three essential rules for finding media in SRDS

When using SRDS, when should I use the database search and when should I use open? That’s a question I get all the time when I’m conducting training sessions, so I wanted to share my two cents in the hope that it’ll make your searching easier and more efficient.

Sometimes it’s a matter of preference and other times it’s a matter of task. Are you researching a category or market or are you grabbing a specific piece of information? Let me give you an example of two different users who asked similar questions about these search options.

In both instances, the user was having trouble finding what they wanted; in one case, a specific set of healthcare pubs and in another, consumer fashion magazines. In both situations, the user became frustrated using the Open Search.

If you think you know exactly what you want to find (say, a specific print media listing), then the results of a general open search can sometimes seem like overkill. This particular client phrased it more colorfully, but his confusion stemmed from the fact that he didn't narrow the open search by using the “Options” drop-down. By default, the Open Search is a keyword search that returns ALL the listings that contain your keyword, from within ALL media types that you subscribe to. If you leave “All Media” selected you will get just that.

When using Open Search, be sure to change the default to the specific media you are interested in and select “Title Only” if you are searching for a specific media listing. Be sure to enter the entire exact title when searching Title Only, not just the first word in the title.

Is there anything else that both users could have done to solve their problem? If you answered “go to the database and search by Classification,” you would be correct! In some cases, it might be easier to do a Class search to see all Healthcare titles or Fashion, Beauty and Grooming titles.

Then if they wanted to see if they were missing anything that wouldn't be in the class, they could have done an Open Search.

Open Search is ideal for getting a high-level perspective on a category or market, but if you want a narrower set of results, use the more specific search tools at your disposal and select a media type or title-only option first.

So, without further ado, here are the 3 must-have guidelines for searching in

  1. Looking for a specific listing? Do a title search.
  2. Exploring new opportunities? Do a keyword search.
  3. Investigating options in a specific category? Do a database class search

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