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Science & Technology Studies: Quick Links for Graduate Students

Tip: Simple Search vs Advanced Search


Almost all catalogs and databases have a single search box called "Siimple Search" or "Quick Search" and another option called "Advanced Search" which has three boxes and lots of other options.

Often the options of the "Advanced Search" will prompt you to design a more efficient and fruitful search.


Tip: Subject vs Keyword


keywords = more hits & sometimes worse

subject words = less hits & better 

keyword = the word is found anywhere in the item--title, author, abstract, summary, notes, description, publisher, and sometimes full text when it's available

subject words = library catalogs use Library of Congress terminology; most databases have their own terms, sometimes called descriptors, which are often similar but not exactly same as library catalogs.

A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the subject words in your results and use them to refine your search strategy.

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