Last Updated: Nov 07, 2022     Views: 23

A Keyword is a word you type into a search bar. The search will look for and retrieve the word found anywhere in the record (book, articles, etc.).

  • The keyword may appear in one part of the record, but it may not be the focus. 

A keyword is a word you choose to use, not the word the database might use.

  • You might write school, but the database might use education.
  • You might use adolescent delinquents, but the database might use juvenile offenders.

To learn more about a database's language for a more tailored search, look at the FAQs on How do I search by Subject Terms?

Two or more words may have the exact spelling but different meanings, which can result in irrelevant results when keyword searching. 

  • If you search for AIDS, meaning the disease, you may retrieve results for hearing aids, audiovisual aids, clinical aides, teaching aids, etc..

A Keyword search is excellent for the initial exploratory searches. Then, you can use subject terms from the appropriate sources for your search.

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