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First Year Seminar - Search Strategies

  1. Browsing (either book stacks or within an online interface) is a valuable avenue of access to information that enables a researcher to recognize what they do not know how to ask for (when limited only to a keyword search box).
  2. Like a superhero each database has its own origin story and set of special powers.  These can be discerned by paying close attention to the fields that each record contains.
  3. What is a controlled vocabulary (aka, thesaurus, descriptors, subject headings) and how is it useful to a researcher?
  4. Keyword searching is the best search strategy when an online resource:
         a) has no controlled vocabulary
         b) contains multiple types of dissimilar records
  5. Effective and efficient use of keyword searching requires the researcher to understand:
         a) logical connectors
         b) proximity connectors
         c) truncation
         d) exact phrase searching
         e) parenthetical groupings