8.10 Searching Fields

A database record usually contains different “fields” of information that describe the resource it has indexed. Learning to search within specific fields can help you pinpoint the kind of information are seeking.

Fields might include:

  • Author

  • Publication

  • Date of publication

  • Keywords used (in a directory)

  • Type of material

When you are searching in a structured commercial database like Academic Search Premier you’ll have a large selection of fields to search – here are some of them:

  • TX All Text

  • AU Author

  • TI Title

  • SU Subject Terms

  • AB Abstract or Author-Supplied Abstract

  • KW Author-Supplied Keywords

  • GE Geographic Terms

  • PE People

  • CO Company Entity

  • IC NAICS Code or Description

  • SO Journal Name

These fields can be used to develop very specific search equations.

Using the “advanced search” feature on most web-based search engines offers the opportunity to specifiy the field in which you want your term to appear. Google’s advance search, for example, lets your search for terms within certain kinds of top-level domains (.edu or .gov, for example) or for specific types of files (.pdf or .xls) Searching within fields allows the savvy searcher to construct a very specific search.


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Information Strategies for Communicators Copyright © 2015 by Kathleen A. Hansen and Nora Paul is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.