What is meant by Keyword Searching? What is meant by Subject Searching? How do they differ? Which one should I use?
Keyword Searching Defined:
A form of searching which allows a combination of terms - author, title, subject - to be used. In an advanced keyword search, search terms are combined with Boolean operators ('and', 'or', 'not', 'with', 'near'). Keyword searching can be used to search the Library catalogue, databases, online indexes and search engines.
Subject Searching Defined:
A form of searching which uses controlled vocabulary, an agreed-upon word or phrase to describe and define a concept or a thing. In each system, there is a standardized list of subject terms or codes that the indexers or catalogers use to choose their terms. These headings can be broad or fairly specific, and terms will vary from one system to another. Examples of controlled vocabulary include subject headings, descriptors, and classification codes.
Here are some activities to help your students understand the difference between Keyword and Subject searching.