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Browsing a Thesaurus or Index

Getting an exact term

Some databases let you search the subject headings directly. A list of subject headings used in a particular database is often referred to as a thesaurus. They are available through the index or subject search tools like these examples.

icons for index and subjects searches

When you click on one of these buttons you will be taken to a screen with an input box and a "Search" button.

The index displays an alphabetical list of subject headings used in the database.

Some databases have sophisticated thesauri that provide cross-references. These are usually accessible through a Thesaurus or Subjects button. If you type in "death penalty," the thesaurus might have an entry that tells you to use "capital punishment" instead. Some thesauri also include a description of the term, and a list of broader, narrower, and related terms.

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