How a Subject Guide Search Works

If you enter a single word

  1. The system tries to find subjects that have the word you entered in them. If it succeeds, you'll see the Subject Guide, which is a list of all the subject entries in which your word shows up.
  2. If that doesn't work, the system looks through entire documents to see if your word shows up. If it finds something this way, you'll see a list of documents that match what you entered.

If you enter more than one word

  1. The system tries to find subjects that have all the words you typed in them. If it succeeds, you'll see the Subject Guide, which is a list of all the subject entries that your words show up in (not necessarily next to each other).
  2. If that doesn't work, the system looks through entire documents to see if your words show up, first near each other, then anywhere. If it finds something this way, you'll see a list of documents that match what you entered.
  3. Even if the first two tries don't work, the system still doesn't give up. It goes back to the Subject Guide and tries to find entries that have just the first word that you typed in them. If that works, you'll see the Subject Guide, except the subjects on the list will match only the first word you typed and not all of them.

And if none of that works, the system has just one thing left to do: ask if you spelled the word correctly. It will show you a list of words it thinks you might have meant to type.