Subject headings are controlled vocabulary created to help organize the vast amount of information available. Almost all library catalogs and databases use some form of subject headings and allow them to be used as search terms. Think of subject headings as the descriptor word or phrase of an overall topic.
Real life Subject Headings examples:
United States -- foreign relations
Monsters -- West Virginina
Censorship -- Communist countries -- History -- 20th century
Step-by-step guide to using subject headings (Indiana State University)
Truncation and wildcards are symbols added to word stem in a keyword search to recieved variants of the stem. The symbol used varies, always consult the help section of the catalog, database or search engine. Common symbols are asterisk (*), question mark (?), exclamation point (!), etc.
wom*n = woman, women
educat* = education, educator, educate, etc.
colo*r = color, colour
Search Strategy Worksheet with truncation (Clark College)
The Library catalog gives you access to all the library materials owned by the library. You can search by title, author, keyword, and subject headings. Here at Rockhurst we also have access to the MOBIUS catalogs. MOBIUS is a library consoritum of over 60 libraries, who allow members to borrow materials without being a part of their specific community. If Rockhurst does not own an item you are looking for, search teh MOBIUS catalog and simply request the item. The Item will arrive in 3-5 business days.
To learn about databases, visit our Searching Database page.