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Research in the Library: Misc

Subject vs Keyword

  • Subject search = Few, highly precise results
  • Keyword search = Many results with mixed relevance

A subject search can be different than a keyword search.  Subject is usually shorthand for the library-speak term Library of Congress Subject Heading, which basically means controlled-vocabulary term.  For example, libraries use the term capital punishment, rather than death penalty, to classify their materials on the topic.

A keyword can be a natural-language term.  In an online library setting, a keyword search will generally look for the term in the entire document, including the title and the body of the article.

Scholarly vs Popular Resources

Scholarly=peer-reviewed=refereed=academic.  What does it all mean?  See our online guide detailing the important differences between popular (magazines and newspapers) and scholarly (journal) resources.