Field Searching is a very important technique that you can use to focus your search results. Most databases will give you the option to limit your search to your keywords having to have been found in one of a database document's fields - in other words, the metadata (information about the document) that the database indexes / labels each document with, in order to be able to quickly retrieve the document when asked to do so. These choices of fields to search can most often be found as a pull-down list right next to the search box. Choose which field to search in before running your search:
Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:
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The exact fields available will vary by database. However, most will allow you to limit your search to results where your keywords were in a document's abstract, its title, or allow you to specify that you want results where your search term was an author's name or perhaps in the title of a publication.
Most databases also offer the option to specify which field(s) to search in by adding Field Codes to your search query (i.e., by typing them in by hand). These specific codes, and exactly how you have to type them into your search for it to work properly, will of course vary by database. This way of doing field searching was the norm in the early days of databases, and some searchers still prefer it.
Since many databases by default search the entire text of the documents they contain, focusing your search to the words having to have been found in the title, keywords (supplied by either the database or the author) or abstract is one of the best and easiest ways to make sure that your search results are articles that are truly focused on your topic - as opposed to getting articles that contain your search words in random places in the text or perhaps somewhere in the list of references, as can often happen.
The record belows shows the field names on the left: Author, Title, Source, Standard No., Details, Language, Abstract, Descriptor