Last Updated: Jul 29, 2016     Views: 428


Thank you so much for reaching out. Keyword indexing refers to the process used to make articles findable in databases. Databases are collections of thousands of articles from different publications. When these articles are added to a database, they are tagged (or indexed) with various keywords (called "controlled vocabularies") that makes the articles findable via searching. Because of these tags, database searching works best when you use "keywords" in your search--searching for individual words or short phrases, rather than long sentences like you might type in Google. For example, in Google you might search for the topic like this: "What were the psychological effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans residents?" In databases, however, because of keyword indexing, you would have better luck with a search like ["hurricane katrina" AND psycholog* AND effect*']. Keyword searching requires you to pick out the MOST important pieces of a topic and use those words to find information about that topic.

Does this help at all? If you need more help, or are looking for specific information, or need help using a particular database, please reply and let us know how we can help you further!

Thanks again for asking!


Mary Moser

Healey Library