Keyword vs. Subject Headings
Catalogs and databases can search by keyword or subject headings. A keyword search may function similar to a Google search, except you are pulling key words or phrases to search, rather than searching an entire sentence or question.
Subject headings come from an official, controlled language and items are indexed under these terms. Both keyword and subject heading search strategies may be used in your searching.
Specific Phrases - Use quotations around the phrase
If you enter a phrase, such as plastic waste, into your search box, you will likely see results with the words close together but not necessarily in a single phrase. This can be a problem if you are searching for a book or movie by that title. Use quotation marks to tell the computer you want this EXACT phrase: "plastic waste."
Since each database can categorize the main concepts of your research under a different subject heading, it is important to brainstorm different words authors may use for your topic so that you have alternate search options if you have difficulty finding resources.
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