Subject search attributes - I can't find words from any position

Hi. I’d be grateful if someone could advise me what I’ve done wrong with the search attributes for ‘subject’ terms, please.

I can only find words or phrases from the start of the field, not keywords from anywhere in the field. Eg. I can find “Child” or “Child Care”, but I can’t find “Care” if that’s all I type.

I’m using the subject heading 21, with settings to use any position in field, and structure of both phrase and word. Being 21 doesn’t trump other settings, I hope? The other fields work mostly fine, and I looked at some other connection files and they left their attribute sets blank. Any ideas on what I could test, please?

Thank you very much.


What connection file are you using?

It’s my own connection file, that I built for my library’s SirsiDynix Unicorn catalogue for our research staff to use. The ‘based on’ section says “Unicorn Z39.50 server config”. (Should I make it available on our website? Is that what people do?)

As an aside, I don’t recall having these problems under EndNote 11 (we’re now on X3), but I can’t back that up!

Are you able to obtain information from SIRSI regarding configuration of the Unicorn Z39.50 server?  John East (a great resource on this forum) wrote an article in 2003* which included information about Unicorn (SIRSI).  What’s interesting is he noted configuring searches (p. 39):

     "The standard search types are supported: Any Field, Author, Title, Subject. These indexes can be searched as word lists. They can also be configured for phrase searcing, wich can be helpful when searching for a specific author.

     Searching or oimiting by exact year of publication is supported. Boolean searches are permitted with all supported search types.

     The server does not support use of standard symbols for truncation. However, searches can be configured to offer automatic right-hand truncation (truncation attribute = 1). The server supports searching by language (use attribute

= 54), using the appropriate three-letter MARC code."

He (John East) included a link for the server configuration but unfortunately it’s now a dead link as SIRSI seems to have removed the information.

As for posting your connection file if it works as expected and meets the needs of your users, why not post it?


East, J. W. (2003). Z39.50 and personal bibliographic software. Library Hi Tech, 21(1), 34-43.

Thanks for your reply (and the article is free online!). There was an old sirsi help page, but now they seem to just point to the general Bath settings.

I’ve decided to abandon this attribute, but I’ve knocked a similar attribute into a bit more shape. I could maybe fix all this with more study and experimentation, but it’s hard to justify the time since we’re a small organisation, alas.

Thanks again,