Typing keywords into an online search box is the way most of us begin our search for information on a topic in which we are interested. Hopefully we have chosen key words that are descriptive and important and our search results are appropriate if perhaps too many. However, there is another way to search which will result in fewer and much more precise search results. This kind of searching using predefined words or phrases to find relevant items on the same topic. This is called subject searching as opposed to keyword searching. However, it is not always easy to guess which subject terms (also called descriptors) are used in a particular database and if you use the wrong subject you could get no results for your search. So how do you find the appropriate subjects to use for your searches?
1. Library of Congress Subject Headings, LCSH. This 4-volume set is located in the Young Library Ready Reference collection under LC 26. 7: (Year). The LCSH will identify the correct heading to use, as well as list broader topics, narrower topics, and related topics.
2. Begin with a keyword search. Identify and examine several appropriate records. Take note of the subjects or descriptors indicated in the individual records. Execute a new search using these terms and choosing a "subject" search as the type of search you want to do. Keep track of the subject terms associated with the items you consider the most appropriate in your search results. Subjects used in one database can often be used in others.
3. If an online resource provides a thesaurus/subject list, use it to identify the most appropriate search terms for that particular database.
Advantages of keyword searching:
Use "natural language words" to describe your topic.
Searches for these natural language words anywhere in the database-do not need to know authors, titles or subjects to get search results.
Can use jargon, buzz words, etc and get results.
Disadvantages of keyword searching:
Can retrieve a large number of irrelevant search results.
Advantages of subject searching:
Search results are fewer in number but more relevant than keyword search results.
Disadvantages of subject searching:
Must use the predefined "controlled vocabulary" for successful searching.
When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, Ask Us.
Globalization: Here are entered works on the process by which economic, cultural, political, and social institutions become integrated worldwide.
Globalization may be subdivided geographically for works on the occurrence and effects of This heading may be subdivided geographically for works on the occurrence and effects of globalization in specific places. "globalization--China," "globalization-Latin America."
Globalization may also be subdivided the following phrases for works on particular aspects of globalization, e.g., "Globalization--Economic aspects," "Globalization--Environmental aspects," "Globalization--Health aspects," "Globalization--Moral and ethical aspects," "Globalization-Political aspects," Globalization--Religious aspects," Globalization-Social aspects."
Broader Term: International Relations
[a subject] and globalization, e.g., "culture and globalization," "music and globalization."
INTERNATIONAL business enterprises
WORLD system theory