Introduction to the Research Proces
Keywords: What are they and why do they matter so much to the research process?
Before getting started with your research, it’s important to have a clear idea about what you are seeking. This means you need to be able to accurately and comprehensively describe your topic (preferably in more than one way) using keywords. Sometimes this can be difficult if you don’t know much about your topic before getting started. If you find yourself in this position, take a moment to look in a thesaurus for synonymous terms, or do a quick web search and pay attention to the different ways in which your subject is being described.
Keywords are important concepts or descriptive words that can be used to describe what you are seeking when searching for information in databases, the online catalog, or on the web. Keywords are also referred to as subject terms, subject headings, descriptors, or index terms. All of these words mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. When searching online, the results you end up with will only be as strong as the keywords used. If incorrect or obscure keywords are being used to describe your subject, chances are your search results will reflect this.