Identify keywords that relate to your topic to assist you when you are searching for resources. Often different words can describe the same concepts and as a researcher, you can never be sure which keywords will bring back the information you are looking for.
Brainstorm related terms, broader terms and narrower terms related to your topic.
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are topical descriptions of the information contained in the item (books, articles, media). There are currently more than 330,000 authorized subject headings. They are widely used and accepted in North America and around the world.
Any book or other item may have one or more subject headings assigned to it by trained professionals at the Library of Congress. Some examples of LCSH are:
Subject Searching in Heterick's Library Catalog and Databases
You would think that you could enter any topic as a Subject search in the online catalog. However, the Subject search uses LCSH terms to organize books by subject. If you enter your keywords as a Subject search, you may not get much back.
If you entered a Subject search for: acquired immune deficiency syndrome you would get NO books. The catalog would direct you to the official LCSH heading: AIDS (Disease).
If you entered a Subject search using the Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) term: AIDS (Disease) you would see that Heterick Library has over 50 books that use this subject heading, plus many more with subheadings attached.
Hyperlinked Subject Headings
Heterick's library catalog and databases contain blue hyperlinked subject headings. If you click on those subject headings, it will take you all of the items in that catalog or database that use that particular subject heading.
Adapted from: http://libguides.lasierra.edu/content.php?pid=83613