Search Strategies

Subject Headings (Controlled Vocabulary) - Library catalogs and databases use controlled vocabulary also known as subject headings, as a means of organizing information. Valencia libraries, and most academic libraries use the Library Of Congress Subject Headings as their controlled vocabulary. Often, it can be more effective than using simple keyword searches.

For example, if Val does a simple keyword search on "Hindu" in the Valencia library catalog she will retrieve books on art, philosophy, music, civilization, and culture for a total of 254 books. Val decides to change her search to "Hindu Religion". This brings up 98 titles, some books on Hindu religion are retrieved but also encyclopedias of all religions are returned and Hindu is just one of them. A subject search on the term "Hinduism" would retrieve 48 books only on the Hindu religion and not peripheral or related religions.

Similarly, Val has searched the Christian Bible for information on Christanity's teachings regarding tattoos. She tries a similar search to locate a Hindu text using the terms "Hindu Bible" but has no results. In this case, using the subject heading Hinduism, Sacred Texts will return the results Val is looking for.



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