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Searching by Subject

Another way to search for a topic is by Subject . (See for the advantages and disadvantages of searching by keyword vs. subject.)

In many academic online catalogs, when you conduct a subject search, the computer searches a special list of terms called subject headings. Subject headings are terms which describe what an item is "about". A library item is usually assigned one or more subject headings.

Most academic libraries use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH ). Consult LCSH to ensure the words you use for a subject search are valid subject headings. At CSUS this is kept near the Reference Desk on the second floor.

For example, if you did a subject search using an appropriate SUBJECT HEADING such as " space colonies " you would find the following:
You searched for the SUBJECT: space colonies
Record 9 of 22
Call Number TL795.7 .H37 1996
Author Harris, Philip Robert, 1926-
Title Living and working in space : human behavior, culture, and organization / Philip Robert Harris.
Edition 2nd ed.
Publisher Chichester, [Eng.]; New York : John Wiley published in association with Praxis Publishing, Chichester, 1996.
Description xxviii, 414p. :ill., map ; 24cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical regerences (p. [369]-409) and index.
SUBJECT Space Colonies
Space Industrialization

However, if you do a subject search using words/terms that are not on the special list of subject terms used by the library, you may receive the following message:
You searched for the SUBJECT: space exploration
Record 1 of 1

Space Exploration is not used in this library's catalog.

Outer Space Exploration is used instead.

SEARCH for Outer Space Exploration.

There may be times when you need to find items about a person or an organization. You would use the subject access to find these items. (Names of people and organizations will not be listed in LCSH but they are still valid subject headings).
For example, if you wanted to find items about Sally Ride, you would select the subject point of access and enter the name (last name first). You would retrieve the following:
You searched for the SUBJECT: ride sally
Record 2 of 2
Call Number 629.45 RID433T (Oversize WB)
Author Ride, Sally
Title To space & back / by Sally Ride with Susan Okie
Edition 1st ed.
Library has $14.96. Gr.1 up.
Publisher New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, c1986
Description 96 p. : col ill. ; 29cm.
Summary Describes in text and photographs what is is like to be an astronaut on the space shuttle.
Includes a glossary of terms.
Subject Ride, Sally
Space Flight
Space Shuttles


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