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Library Search for Arts, Design and Architecture Research

a concise guide to searching arts, design and architecture research databases

Database Fields Search

Database Fields Search:

Records in library databases contain  fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:

  • author
  • title
  • journal title
  • abstract
  • publisher
  • date/year of publication
  • subject/descriptor
 

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.

Generic Example:

 

 

 

  • 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.

 

Need help understanding fields? Ask Us!

 

Example of fields in a generic record:

The record belows shows the field names on the left: Author, Title, Source, Standard No., Details, Language, Abstract, Descriptor

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