Utilising Fields

In a database, each record consists of fields. A record of a publication reference contains information about locating the publication and information about the topic of the publication.

The content of a one record of a book in UEF Primo database. Several fields, where title, creator, identifier and subject are highlighted. An explanation of subject terms: some subject terms are in Finnish, the others are in English.
The fields marked with red colour can be selected as a searched target in UEF-Primo library search engine. If nothing is selected, all the fields within a record are searched.

When you are looking for a certain topic, the most informative fields on a record are Title and Subject/Keyword but also Abstract or even Full-text along with Source name.

The content of a one record of an article in a database. Some fields have labels, like abstract and keywords. The place of the title is pointed out, as well as the information about the journal source. Explanation for keywords: subject terms.
Example of a record in an article database.

Limiting you search term only to have occurred in a Title or a Subject –field will help to focus your search to the most relevant results.

Example: searching wood AND acoustics

Text. A title: Experimental study of wood acoustic absorption characteristics. Indexed keywords, several listed, among them acoustics and (pine) woods. Terms wood and acoustic highlighted with red colour.

A search term occurring in an abstract might be relevant, but it can also be incidental. A lot depends on the context or on the term itself. Usually, it is wise to use several search concepts in order to define the specific aspect.

Text. A title: investigating hemp concrete mechanical properties variability due to hemp particles. An abstract, where the terms wood and acoustic appear, but not with the same sentence.

Example of a query utilising fields:

A screen capture of a search page of a database. The first search box contains a term: wood. After the box, Article title is selected as a search field. The second box contains term acoustics. After the box, Keywords is selected as a search field. Between the boxes there is AND.

Watch a video from Youtube (1:52) about Field searching by Wahlstrom Library:


To Do:

  1. Begin your search using a selection of fields which are the most important ones (Title – Abstract – Keywords), if possible
  2. Depending on what you get, try to change fields to some or all of your terms

Next page: Queries for different purposes