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What to look for
Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:
- journal title
- date/year of publication
How database fields improve your search
- Limiting your search to specific database fields can yield more precise results.
- For instance, if you are looking for books by Adam Smith instead of about him, it is more efficient to limit your search to the author field.
- To find various fields within a database, look for drop down boxes or menus to select the field you want to search.
- Then combine words and fields together with boolean or proximity operators, depending on how precise you want to be.
- If you do not choose a specific field, the database usually reverts to a keyword search, where your words will be searched throughout the record.
- If your keyword search retrieves too many records (more than 50), try narrowing your search to retrieve a more manageable result.
- Information overload - too many results - can be a worse situation than finding only 10 very relevant results.
Example of fields
The record belows shows the field names on the left: Author, Title, Source, Standard No., Details, Language, Abstract, Descriptor