Environmental Studies 206: Search Strategies

Global Environmental Politics
Professor: April Merleaux
Spring 2021

Keyword Searching

Keyword searches:

See  our Super Searching guide for tips on constructing good keyword searches.

Examples for this course:

"sustainable cities" AND develop*

malaria AND DDT 

"environmental racism" 

Alaska AND (mines OR mining OR mineral*)

bee* AND collapse 

Choosing Keywords

Run Time: 3:45

Using Subject Headings

Subject Headings are terms that are most commonly used to describe the topic that a resource covers. Unlike keywords, which are user generated, subject headings are created and maintained by an authoritative institution. Since Williams Libraries, and most academic libraries, organizes our resources using the Library of Congress Classification, we also utilize Library of Congress Subject Headings to provide access to our collections by subject. Subject headings are arranged systematically, and can be useful tools to help browse the collection by topic. Subject headings for each resource are located in the "Details" section of the catalog record, under "Subjects."

Image of a record for a library resource with a green box indicating the location of the subjects assigned to this resource.

Subject Heading Searching

Subject Heading searches:

  • Use a specific, controlled vocabulary for describing the subject of a library item
  • Can be created in the Advanced Search or Browse Search screens of our library catalog.
  • Work in other library catalogs such as Williams WorldCat

Examples of relevant subject headings for this course:

Climatic Changes

Genetically Modified Foods

Endangered Species Act Of 1973

California Condor

Polar Bear

Hydraulic Fracturing

Ocean Acidification 

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Japan, 2011 

Fireproofing Agents