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Welcome to the Politics Research Guide
Welcome to the online library guide for Introduction to Historical Research!
Use this guide as a starting point for your research. If you have any questions regarding research in the field of history feel free to contact me. My contact info is located to the right.
Best of luck with your history research!
Keywords VS Subject Headings
When you search by keyword:
you are searching for words and phrases that can be found anywhere in the text of the item record and/or article.
you are not searching for commonly used words parts of speech. Examples include articles, pronouns, and prepositions. Databases do not index commonly used words, which are called stop words. Examples of stop words in databases are: a, an,about, after, all, also, and, any, are, as, at, based, because, been, and many more.
Searching by keyword can be a flexible way to find a large number of results. You can use keyword searching as a way to find targeted results: slang, jargon, and new terms work well in keyword searches.
When you search by subject:
you are using a term from a pre-defined controlled vocabulary determined by that database. Many databases feature a subject-specific thesaurus of subject terms that relate back to the contents in that database. You will only receive articles that were assigned the subject heading you searched with. For this reason, articles found via subject heading searches can be very reliable. The subject will appear in the record item's subject heading or descriptor field.
Searching by subject can be a very specific way to find targeted results within a specific discipline or research area. This can be very beneficial to your research; however, searching by subject only works if you know which subject terms to search with.
This guide will include some subject headings that can be used in the library catalog. Please contact me if you need assistance finding database-specific subject headings.