Look for alternate terms for each concept in your topic.
|Keywords are natural language words describing your topic. Use them to start a search.||Subjects are pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" words used to describe the content (articles, books etc.) found in a database.|
|Keywords are flexible and can combine together in many ways.||Subjects are not as flexible in a search. You have to know the exact controlled vocabulary terms.|
|Databases looks for keywords anywhere in the record (unless you tell the database otherwise).||Databases ONLY look for subjects in the subjects / descriptors fields.|
|Keywords may give you too many or too few results. You may have to remove or add keywords.||If you have too many results from a subject search, look for the option to use a subheadings (narrower subject) under the main subject.|
|Keywords may give you many irrelevant results.||Subject often give you very relevant results.|
Example: Search with keyword
engineering women stem
Examples: of Subjects
Women scientists -- Employment -- Congresses
Women in science
Feminism and science
Identify the key concepts in your topic:
How do social media sites like Facebook impact teenagers' friendships with each other?
Brainstorm for related terms:
Try Academic Search Complete > Subject Terms to find subject headings for your topic.
1. Generate Ideas with Visual Tools
2. Use Other Sources to Find Keywords e.g. Search in CREDO
3. Look for Subjects (Controlled Vocabulary) Assigned to Articles in Databases.