Defining the QuestionReviewing Keyword, Subject, and Thesaurus Searching

When to Use Keywords

  • Your subject terms are unknown.
  • You want to find subject terms.
  • Your topic is new and has no subject terms.

When to Use Subject or Thesaurus Terms

  • Your topic is well-established in the literature.
  • Keyword searching produces too many results that are not relevant.
SEARCH METHOD PART OF DOCUMENT SEARCHED RESULTS RELEVANCY
Keyword(s) Abstract/Full-text High Low
Subject term Subjects Low High
Thesaurus term Thesaurus Low High

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