Search Strategies – Subject Searching• Subject Searching is a research strategy that incorporates both subject terms and keywords into your search. This will allow you to create a result list with a more specific and detailed results.• Keywords, are words, ideas, and phrases that you use to describe your topic. – These words are often discovered while reading about your topic, during class discussions, and in databases.• Subject terms, unlike keywords, are a “controlled vocabulary.” A controlled vocabulary allows databases to consistently organize articles into the proper subject group or groups regardless of the possible variations in keywords.• The subject term “World War, 1940-1945” will search for all of the following keywords: WWII, World War Two, Second World War.• This prevents you from having to perform three separate keyword searches.
Search Strategies – Subject Searching• Subject terms are not always intuitive. The best way to discover subject terms is to experiment with various keyword searches.• The database will provide you with suggested subject terms in the subject limiter toolbar and within the article record.
Search Strategies – Subject Searching• Once you have discovered and written down a few subject terms, it is time to incorporate them into an advanced search.• Type in your subject term into the search box.• Change your dropdown menu from “Select a Field” to SU Subject Terms. This lets the database know that you are doing a Subject Search.
Search Strategies – Subject Searching• A great feature to subject searching is also being able to incorporate your keywords to create a more detailed search.• This will also help you narrow down your result list.• To combine a subject and keyword search, you will need incorporate the Boolean Operators AND / OR.
Search Strategies – Subject Searching• Take a look at the combined subject and keyword search below.• By using the Boolean Operator I have told the database that I want articles about both the subject term mathematics skills AND the keyword reading fluency. – Notice that I have left the dropdown menu on the defaulted “Select a Field” for my keyword reading fluency.• If your keyword also happens to be a subject term, like reading fluency, you can change the dropdown menu to SU Subject Term and do a combined subject search.