Subject (Heading) Searching
Searching by subject retrieves all records within a database that share your topic focus. To perform a subject search in Academic Search Complete:
1. Find & click the Subject Terms link (top left in blue utility header).
2. Enter your topic term or phrase in the Browse search box.
3. Click the Browse button.
4. Locate & select the subject term that corresponds with your search term concept (check the box to the left of the term to select).¹
5. Click the Add button to add the subject term to your search.
6. Click the Search button to retrieve search results.
Your search will retrieve a list of article records whose topic content matches the content focuse of your search terms.
¹ Hint: "Use" indicates that the linked term or phrase that follows is used instead of your search term for that subject.
What are Subject Headings?
Subject Headings are a set of specially designated terms in a database that ...
• link together conceptually similar records, and
• describe the content focus of record items.
How does Subject searching differ from keyword?
The difference lies in the number of fields searched within a database record.
Subject searching is restricted to subject heading field in a database record.
Keyword searching typically covers the most text-rich fields within a database (title, abstract & subject headings in CINAHL for instance).
How Can They Help Me?
Subject Headings can increase the speed and efficiency of ...
• search retrieval - subject searching (where available) will pull the most topically relevant search results.
• records assessment - subject headings describe the content of a record & can quickly indicate whether or not an item matches your requirements.
Can I search the same subject headings across different databases?
Some databases use the same subject terms as others (example: Cochrane Library & PubMed both use MeSH terms).
However, many databases utilize a unique subject heading vocabulary.
Check the subject thesaurus of your target database before (searching) to ensure you have the correct subject terms for your topic.
UT Tyler databases with Subject Headings include:
Academic Search Complete
CINAHL Complete - CINAHL Subject Headings
Cochrane Library - MeSH Terms
Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
PubMed/MEDLINE - MeSH Terms
UT Tyler Catalog - Library of Congress Subject Headings