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Subject vs. Keyword Searching in Electronic Databases

Understanding how a computer performs a search

Using SUBJECT search mode: Using KEYWORD search mode:

= using predetermined subject terms. Someone has analyzed information source and assigned one or several subject terms to it. Terms appear as subject headings in the record.

= using simple text retrieval. User types any word (keyword) that might appear anywhere (e.g. in the title, as a subject or in the abstract) of the record. No human has added value to the record.

Procedure: Computer scans word in subject field of database. Procedure: Computer scans word in entire database.
author
 
 
 
 
title
 
 
 
 
subject
 
 
 
 
abstract
 
 
 
 
author
 
 
 
 
title
 
 
 
 
subject
 
 
 
 
abstract
 
 
 
 

Example:

Example:

TI: Birds, bees, and Beavis
AU: Marlette, -Doug, 1949-
SO: Esquire.B. 127 Mar. '97 p.112
PY: 1997
AB: Although the progression from stated aversion to girls to sex talk is an ageless one, the abruptness of it today is unsettling. With TV as America's designated babysitter, U.S. children's peers are Beavis and Butt-head leering at Cindi Crawford in a Pepsi advertisement. The writer questions whether boomer parents' encouragement of hip precociousness is depriving their children of childhood and suggests that parents should be careful about how much information they share with their children
DE: Sex-education; Children-sexual-
 

TI: New studies explore public attitudes about science
AU: Olson,-Steve, 1956-
SO: Science.B.275 Feb.28 '97 p.1260
PY: 1997
AB: At the recent Annual Meeting and Science Exposition of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jon Miller of the Chicago Academy of Sciences presented new data on public attitudes about science. Drawing on his most recent analysis of survey results from 14 countries, Miller has linked attitude about science with such factors as age, sex, education, and degrees of scientific literacy. Although the results show striking commonalities,......
DE: Science-Public-Opinion;Intercultural-
Research


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