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Marisa's portion of PASCAL DRUX WG Primo How-To Guide: Viewing Item Details

Intro text

Once you've retrieved a list of search results and picked out one you want to examine more closely, understanding an item's entry can be a little overwhelming. This page will help you make sense of what you'll see when you choose an item from the results list to decide if or how you want to procure it.

Example entry

example image of an entry for an item in Primo

The various parts of an item entry are as follows:

  1. The item’s format
  2. The item’s title
  3. The author or statement of responsibility
  4. A quick-view of the item’s status
  5. Options for sharing or saving the entry
  6. Primo’s pushpin feature
  7. The item’s metadata
  8. Ways to obtain the item
  9. Whether the item can be requested through PASCAL or if it can be digitized
  10. The item’s physical location, if applicable
  11. Related titles that might also be of interest
  12. An image of the item
  13. Quick links to the different parts of the entry

The item’s format

This label tells you what type of media the item is. Primo contains a variety of media types; this item is a book, but you might also see journal articles, newspaper articles, videos, and more. This designation can help you decide if the item will be useful for the kind of information you want to find.

The item’s title

Be careful not to get one item mixed up with another! Sometimes what you think is a book in the results list is actually just an article reviewing the book, or a movie that was made of the book, or something similar. Just by looking at the cover image of this item in the results list, it would be easy to confuse it with, for instance, a DVD of a season of the television show Grey's Anatomy, but with the full title spelled out here and the type of media labelled as Book, we can make a safe bet that this is actually a recent edition of the landmark medical book depicting the various structures of the human body.

The author or statement of responsibility

Sometimes the person who created a work (or is most responsible for a group of people or an organization's effort to create it) isn't truly the author. Sometimes the writer of a novel will be listed, but if this item were an audiobook of that novel, it might have the narrator's name here instead. More often in Primo, you'll be looking for an essay in a compilation written by several people, and the editor will be listed instead. Sometimes a creator of a work is not listed as a person but as a company, for instance, a publishing house, studio, or a news agency.

For various reasons, librarians use the term "statement of responsibility" instead of "author's name" when creating records of an item to help users find what they need. Paying attention to the statement of responsibility can help you tell if this is the actual book Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (often shortened to "Gray's Anatomy"), or something else, like an essay about the book's significance by a medical researcher.

A quick-view of the item’s status

The green text indicates the item is available in its printed format.If a physical item has no copies available to check out or request, the text will be grey and say something like "[your institution]'s copy not available".

If it is available in a physical format, the location will be specified like this: "[Institution] [Library, branch, or campus] [Section (if applicable)] [LOC call number]". For example, an item held at Tri-County Technical College's Easley campus in its Stacks section might look like: TCTC--Easley campus--Stacks Easley (RM315.W46 2019). On this entry, you're being told that a copy of the book is available at TCTC's Pendleton campus Learning Commons in the Bookbot.

Options for sharing or saving the entry

These different buttons or badges make sharing or exporting an item easier. What buttons are available will vary by institution, we'll explain a few of the more common buttons here.

The Permalink button will produce a static link that can be easily shared and should remain stable for a long time, so it can be used in things like non-serial publications or web resources that need to be consulted over the long term.

RefWorks is a citation manager service that can collect and organize your sources for you. If you are signed in to your Primo account, clicking this button can take you right to a page that adds this item as a citation source in your RefWorks account.

This is not to be confused with the Citation button, which will auto-generate a citation from this entry in one of a choice of citation formats. Citations created by any auto-generator should always be manually checked for correctness, legibility, and accuracy. Citation generators should only ever be used to reduce the work of creating a citation, never to replace it!

Primo’s pushpin feature

A unique and useful capability of Primo is the pushpin feature. Clicking the pushpin on an entry will add it to a list that is then visible when clicking the same icon in the Primo top toolbar:




Note: This is how the pages will look if you are not signed in. If you compile a list of articles this way without being signed in, they will disappear when you close this session of Primo in your browser. To keep them, log in to Primo using your institution's credentials (usually your school e-mail and password).

When you are signed in, Primo will save multiple lists compiled from your pushpins for you that you can organize as you see fit! This can be a useful way to track sources you've used or want to consider for your assignments.

The item’s metadata

"Metadata" basically means "information about information", and here, it describes the item you are considering to help you decide whether to pursue it further as a potential source. It might be helpful to know how many pages are in a print book, for example, if you plan on reading the entire volume instead of just using one chapter, and knowing the particular edition might be useful if you want annotations or academic supplements to the text itself. Seeing the copyright/date of publication or who the publisher is or who is included in the statement of responsibility can also help you pinpoint the source you're looking for as opposed to, perhaps, commentary about a piece of literature instead of the literature itself.

Two things to notice here are:

7a.) The statement of responsibility field


7b.) The subject heading fields.

Note that these are both links instead of regular text! If you click them, they will take you to records for other items in Primo that have the same author/creator or that are about the same subject. This can really power up your research skills!

If, for example, you need to select a novel for an assignment that is written by a South American author and the entry for Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits tells you all of our copies are checked out, clicking her name here will take you to a new list of records of all the items in Primo that have her name in the statement of responsibility. Then you can pick another of her novels that are available!

Using the subject headings is a great way to search for information on a given topic. If I need as many sources as I can find telling me about the life of the classical music composer Ludvig van Beethoven, my first instinct might be to simply type "Beethoven" into the Primo searchbar. The list of results I get back will be long, but a lot of them will not be relevant to my research needs; I'll probably get works created by him as well as about him (ie, musical scores he wrote instead of just nonfiction about the man himself), and I might get lots of books that only mention him in one chapter, articles that discuss his music, teaching aids for learning to perform his well-known pieces, and even fictional portrayals of him in movies or novels.

If I can find one entry that describes a work I would like to use--like a print biography where the whole book is about Beethoven's life from start to finish--I can use the subject headings in that entry to find more like it. A helpful subject heading in this case might be something like "Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827", which will take me to results about the man himself, whereas "Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827 -- Criticism and interpretation" would yield results discussing his work instead of his life, and "17th century musicians" would certainly include results about him, but would also include results about other composers of the time that I don't need and which I will have to sift through to get to the results I do want. Using subject headings and other links in the metadata for a record can reduce your time spent on research dramatically!

Ways to obtain the item


Whether the item can be requested through PASCAL or digitized


The item’s physical location, if applicable

This section of the entry expands what was summarized in section 4. Here, we are looking for a physical (print) copy of a book, so the entry is telling us what institution has a copy, which campus or library within that institution has it, what section of the library it will be in, and what call number or other unique locator the item will be labelled with. This section also breaks down how many copies the system owns, how many of those are available (as opposed to checked out, missing, being repaired, ect..), and information you can use to make a guess about the demand for the item--and therefore, what having to wait for it might look like and whether that is an option you'd deem worth the time.

The green text saying Available indicates that the system expects there to be a copy in the correct spot ready to be located and used. If you see this message and are unable to find the item, notify a librarian; it could be the item is simply misplaced and easy to find again, or it could be a more difficult Lost Item to find, and in either case, library staff will need to know about it.

Related titles that might also be of interest

Primo uses this space to show you items that have similar subject headings, keywords, and topics to the one you're looking at. If you need more information sources like the one you've found, this can help you find some. Clicking on each image in the carousel will take you to the entry for that item's record (and don't forget to click the arrows to scroll through them all!) Note that these items are pulled from all of Primo, not just your institution, so some might need to be requested and sent to you for pickup.

An image of the item

This gives you a rough idea of what the item might look like. Be aware that this is one way to tell different editions of the same book apart--each edition will have it's own record which will list how many copies of that edition are available--but the image might differ slightly from the actual physical item you get (assuming a print item).

Some records do not have images or have placeholder images instead. These items are still completely obtainable and usable; the lack of image has to do with how or when the item was cataloged and could be due to several factors that won't affect the item's quality.

Quick links to the different parts of the entry

This section works like a Table of Contents for just this record entry. If you know you need a certain piece of information from an entry, you can use this to skip right to it!