Part I: Prepare search

I.3.3 Keywords and subject headings

Suppose you are asked to write a paper on the subject "Crawfishes in the Baltic Sea Region". Then you can search with keywords and/or subject headings.

  • Keywords:

    Keywords are those terms that appear in the title or subtitle of a document. In some cases, however, the title of a documents is little or not at all indicative of the content of the document. For example, the book "Wonderful World" deals with the topic of sea crayfishes - but the title says nothing about the content.
  • Subject headings:

    Subject headings (descriptors) are assigned to a document based on its content. They are usually controlled vocabulary taken from a standardised list such as a thesaurus. The title "Wonderful World" could therefore be found by a subject heading search using the search term "crayfish" - but not by a keyword search.

Note: Always use both search options.

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