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McNair Summer Research Institute (MSRI) at Rider: Information Literacy Strand

This MSRI LibGuide is geared toward enhancing information literacy skills and research capabilities, equipping our students to undertake graduate-level research assignments and effectively compete in the rigorous environment of graduate school.

Use the Controlled Vocabulary

Controlled vocabulary--also known as subject headings, subject terms, thesaurus terms, or descriptors--are the official indexing  terms used by the producers of a database to describe each concept so that all articles/items on the same topic have the same descriptor or subject heading. 

In contrast to Google searching on the web, controlled vocabularies organize the information in a database. Each article record is divided up into fields, and one of the fields is for subject headings. You can then search on this field. You can also click on a subject heading assigned to an article to see all the other items that have the same heading. You can also combine the terms in a new search to find items on that topic.

Your search results will be more focused and more relevant, since you will be searching directly in the descriptor field.