Thursday, September 04, 2008

Library Tip: Finding Books on a Certain Topic

Hi students and staff,

Categorize this Library Tip under additional Library Catalog Searching Tricks. As mentioned last time, our SMU library online catalog is a bit finicky, so you’ll want to be on top of your game when you’re searching for books or videos on a specific topic. Below are some effective tips for finding the best information for your needs.

A word search is usually the best place to start because it will look for your search terms in all parts of the catalog record, not just the title. This means if the contents of the book are included in the record, results will be pulled up if your keywords appear in the chapter titles or section headings. Check out the picture below (enlarge it by clicking on it) and read the comments next to each section of the search page.Once you find a book that interests you, open its record by clicking on the hyperlinked book title.You can locate additional items by clicking on one of the subject headings located toward the bottom of the catalog record. These subjects will link you to additional subjects and additional books on the same and similar subjects. If you’re wondering why searching by subject is better (or worse) than searching by keyword, or for that matter, if you’re wondering what the differences between subjects and keywords even are, please visit our Subject vs. Keyword searching web page.


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