Environmental Studies 101: Find Resources

Nature and Society
Spring 2022

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.

Below are examples of Subject Headings that may be used as starting points for your research projects. Clicking on a subject below will take you to a list of resources that cover the listed subject.

Search the Library Catalog

Find books, articles, & more

Broaden Your Search

Use ORs and parentheses to combine synonyms or multiple topics

(oil OR petroleum OR crude)

(antibiotic OR antiviral)

(woman OR girl OR female)

 

Truncate roots of important words* to find plurals and more

perform* (searches for perform, performance, performativity, etc.)

cell$

pregnan!

 

Insert a “wild card” [*?$!] to catch words with different spellings

wom?n

coloni#ation

odo$r

 

*Truncation and wild cards work differently in different databases. Check the help section of the database to learn what symbol to use and how to properly use it.

Browse the Libraries' Database List

Narrow Your Search

Combine concepts with AND to find more relevant sources

picasso AND Africa

internet AND privacy

bedrock AND Massachusetts AND hydrology

 

Use “double quotes” to find exact phrases

"rock art"

“African diaspora”

“invertible matrix”

 

Use proximity searching* to find words near each other

women NEAR violence

progressive NEAR/10 tax

"global warming" NEAR/20 "sea level"

*Proximity searching works differently in different databases.  Check the help section of the database to learn how to properly use it.