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RUSS 3221 Space Race in Russian and American Cultures (Siergiejczyk): Find Books

Tips for Keyword Searching

  • Searching with "AND" narrows your search, retrieving fewer, yet more relevant, results. For example, searching for: sports AND "Cold War" AND Russia will retrieve more relevant and specific results than simply searching for "sports", which will produce an extremely large number of results that may not be relevant to your topic.
  • Using the asterisks symbol (*) at the end of the root word will retrieve results where that word has different endings. For example, searching sport* will retrieve results with sport, sports, sporting, sportsman, sportswoman, sportsperson, and sportification
  • Think of synonyms, related terms, and alternate spellings! For example, use "Soviet Union" OR "USSR" when searching for information.

  • Once you find a book that interests you, make sure you write down the whole call number and note if the book is available and where it is!

  • Find relevant books in the stacks and look around that book to see what else you can find. Books with similar subjects will be near each other on the shelves.

Combine Search Words

  • AND – link words by AND to search for all words in the same resource. This will help you retrieve more relevant search results.
  • OR – link words by OR to search for one word or another (instead of both/all words). This technique is especially useful when using synonyms or related terms in your search.
  • NOT – to eliminate results with a certain term.
  • “Quotations” – add quotations to a group of two or more words to search for the exact phrase. 

Subject Searching

In library catalogs and databases, items are assigned subject headings (or descriptors) to describe the content of the item. Using subject headings ensures that all items about the same topic can all be accessed with one search term. Search results are usually very relevant to the topic.

However, subject headings are a set of pre-defined terms or phrases, known as controlled vocabulary. You must know the exact controlled vocabulary term or phrase when searching.

Find the subject heading:

  • Locate an item in the catalog or database, and click on its subject heading to view more titles that have the same subject heading.
  • Look to see if your catalog or database has a thesaurus that you can browse to find the subject heading that best matches your topic.

Search for Books in Chinook (Online Catalog)

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