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Top > Frequently asked questions > Searching, Reading for materials, Researching > Searching for materials

Frequently asked questions : Searching for materials

Frequently asked questions

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Q
Where are the materials?
A
Because most of the materials are stored in the closed stacks, you are not able to search for them yourself. Some items, such as encyclopedias and other reference works, can be picked up directly from the bookshelves in the Special Materials Rooms or the General Collections Room. In addition, you can use the digitized collections via the terminals in the Library.

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Q
How should I search for materials?
A
Most of the materials are stored in the closed stacks, so you will not be able to look for them on the bookshelves directly. Please search using the terminals in the Library, or ask the staff. It is also a good idea to check the collections by searching NDL-OPAC before visiting the Library.

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Q
I don't know how to operate the user terminals in the Library. What should I do?
A
Tokyo Main Library
Please do not hesitate to inquire with Library staff offering operational support in the vicinity of user terminals. You can also ask at the Information Desks located in the Main Building or the Annex.
Kansai-kan Library
Please do not hesitate to inquire with Library staff offering operational support in the vicinity of user terminals. In the absence of Library staff, please inquire at the General Information Desk.

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Q
How should I search for audio books and books in Braille?
A
You can search for these on NDL Search, using "Material search for persons with disabilities."
Search words and Information on these materials are Japanese.

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Q
How can I search the catalogs of other libraries?
A
If you use NDL Search, you can search for materials or digital content etc. provided by public libraries, archives, museums, and academic research institutions across the country, all at once.

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Q
Even though they appear in the same periodical, some articles are searchable and others are not searchable.
A
Even some articles published in periodicals recorded in the Periodical Index (indexed periodicals) may not be indexed—for example, those numbering two pages or less.
Moreover, even for articles published in indexed periodicals, if the article's issue was published before the commencement of indexing or after indexing was stopped, it will not be searchable. Please refer to: "List of indexed periodicals in the Japanese Periodicals Index" (in Japanese).

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Q
When I searched the Japanese Periodicals Index (JPI) for the author of an article that should be listed, I got no hits. Why is this?
A
In the following cases, you may not get any hits even after searching an author name in the JPI.
If the author name is only listed in Roman characters:
Because the JPI does not ensure consistency of heading formats or reference formats, articles are searchable only in the format listed in the materials. For example, if the author name is only listed in Roman characters, you may not get any hits when searching for the name using Chinese characters.
If the author is Chinese or Korean:
In data published before January 2012, if the author is Chinese or Korean and the name cannot be input in Chinese characters, and if the materials give Western characters for the name, the name is listed in Western characters. If there are no Western characters for the name, those Chinese characters (only) are replaced with Japanese phonetic kana script. For example, since the "Deng" () of "Deng Xiaoping" (鄧小平) is replaced with kana characters, please search for "Deng" using Japanese kana (トウ) and "Xiaoping" using Chinese characters (小平).
In data published since January 2012, if the characters can be input and displayed using the Unicode input system, as a general rule they are input exactly as they appear in the materials. Other characters are replaced with Japanese kana characters. Accordingly, "Deng" will be input using the Chinese character ().
If there are four or more authors:
In data published before April 2016, since authors listed in materials are only recorded up to the first three author names, the fourth and subsequent author names are not searchable. Moreover, in some cases only the first-listed author of an article is searchable.
In data published since April 2016, all authors listed in materials are recorded.
Other:
Since the author is not recorded in the following cases, the author's name is not searchable.
  • *If the author name is listed only at the end of an article.
  • *If the person is listed as the editorial supervisor, translation supervisor, or layout editor etc.
  • *Listings as “XX editorial” etc.

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