Subject Headings

Think of Subject Headings as the catalog's or database's vocabulary. The subject headings are the words and phrases that the database uses to describe the books, journals, or articles within.

smile The advantage of a subject heading search is that it provides a more focused search.
frown The disadvantage is that it's hard to know what the subject heading is for your topic.

Here's what to look for:

  • In the Catalog, use your own terms in a Keyword search. Once you have a book that looks on topic click on the Detailed Display button for that record. At the bottom of the Detailed Display, you will see Subject Headings that you can click on to see more items on the same subject.

  • In Databases, look for a Thesaurus or Subjects button that will let you search the subject headings for that database. If there is no such button, use your own terms in a Keyword search. Once you have an article record that looks on topic, look for a field that says Subjects or Descriptors. You will see Subject Headings that you can click on to see more items on the same subject.

  • Search Engines usually don't have subject headings but they often have Similar Page or More like this links next to records. If you find a website that is on topic, try clicking on one of those links to see similar pages.
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