Making Subject Headings work for you – targeting your search using the Thesaurus in ProQuest and Ebsco

Are you having trouble finding relevant articles in your database search results? Are you struggling to identify the right keywords to define your topic? The Thesaurus could help!

It might sound like something out of Jurassic World, but a database thesaurus is actually a searchable list of the ‘controlled’ subject headings used by that database. These standardised headings are used ‘tag’ articles to help you find what you want. Since terminology can change from country to country and over time, these standardised subject headings can pick up articles which you might miss when you think of your own keywords. The Thesaurus will also show you broader, narrower and related terms which can help to guide your search.

So, for example, if you look up ‘Strategic Management’ in the ProQuest Thesaurus, you’ll find ‘Corporate management’ as a broader term and ‘Balanced scorecard’ as a narrower term. You’ll also find related terms such as ‘Enterprise risk management’, ‘Market strategy’ and ‘Strategic planning’. You could add some or all of those terms to your search to find articles you need.

ProQuest has made a short video to help you find and use the Thesaurus. It’s well worth a look!

The Thesaurus in Ebsco’s Business Source Complete works in a similar way. There’s a guide available with more help and information.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please get in touch with us at buslib@swansea.ac.uk.

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