Keywords and Databases

Reading Chapter 3 of Research Strategies was a refreshing break from the much more technical readings – while it’s nice to know the nitty-gritty of how search engines like Google and Bing work, the information from the two links was just too much to absorb and frankly, too “technical.”

On the other hand, Badke’s approach to discussing keywords and databases and explaining how they work is easier to understand. While he doesn’t get very technical as to how searching for keywords in databases work (just check out the link to the Liddy article!), he still explains the concept of keywords and gives a tutorial on how to effectively use databases, especially ones like EBSCO, where users are allowed to narrow down their keywords with “and,” “or,” or “not.” I’ve used EBSCO before but I didn’t know how to utilize it properly, but thanks to Badke now I know how to search for keywords more effectively.

I also enjoyed reading about keyword hierarchies. Many people often search for keywords without realizing that the context of the word itself is very important: I could easily look up  “baby” and there are many contexts in which the word could be used: human baby? baby carriage? Baby Boom? Having this pointed out will definitely help refine searching for keywords in the future. It certainly would have saved me a lot of time having to trudge through so many articles because I looked up a keyword without paying attention to how it could be interpreted.

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2 Responses to Keywords and Databases

  1. darren732 says:

    Keywords, important useful and sometimes like the mystery box at an auction.
    More effective use of keywords definitely will make our searches more efficient yet we also must remember the different ways of searching. For example using the and, or, not phrases in conjunction with the keywords to further refine our searches to bring out what we require. You are correct in that just using the word baby would in a way bring forth different variations of that word. So in refining it to a closer example of what we are looking for will yield a smaller more concentrated result. For example yellow baby shoes.

  2. Keywords have proven to be very useful, even though there are the often hang ups due to an overload of results you weren’t initially looking for. Yes, I think you’re correct when you said Badke has opened up a new way of finding the exact information you want to research by simply using “or, not, and.” This way, if I’m interested in finding more about Rome and the Colosseum, I could use those words to better my results.

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