HELP >> Subject Searching
Why search by subject?
Type a word or phrase into a search box and chances are something will come up. But for really effective searching, it is important to find the right language. Using subject headings, sometimes called controlled vocabulary, is one way to focus on concepts rather than on random words.
For every record indexed in ICL, our indexers assign subject headings, which are the concepts that best describe a document’s contents. No matter what words an author assigns to a title or abstract, the indexer considers the entire document when selecting subject headings. Searching by subject, then, means searching by concept, which in many cases results in a more meaningful retrieval. For example, an editorial entitled Toward cultural authority was assigned 3 subject headings: Chiropractic / trends; Primary Health Care; Research / trends
Two ways to search ICL by subject
- Subject Index (available in the Advanced Search) : Select subject headings directly from the Subject Index (directly above the search boxes in the Advanced Search); simply search for a subject, then click on it to place it in one of the search boxes. Use this method to choose broad subject headings or more specific subheadings within subjects.
- Subject Keyword field: Typing a word or phrase in this field (from the pull-down menus on the Advanced Search page) captures all subject headings using that word or phrase. For example, a subject search using the word economics captures all subject headings that have economics as a subheading. Always enclose phrases in “quotation marks”.
Our sources for subject headings
- Kempke A, Boni BA. Chiropractic Subject Headings 6th ed. 2009 Chiropractic Library Collaboration, 2009.
This is a thesaurus created by librarians in the Chiropractic Library Collaboration. In the autumn of 2008, ChiroSH was accepted by the Library of Congress for use as an official thesaurus. Now it has its own code [chirosh]for use when adding chiropractic subject headings to bibliographic records.
- MeSH (Medical Subject Headings database) [U.S. National Library of Medicine] MeSH home page
MeSH is the NLM controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles for PubMed. The ICL indexers use primarily MeSH terms, supplemented by chiropractic terms from ChiroSH.
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