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  • Jillian Mayer is an artist and filmmaker living in South Florida. Her video works and performances have been premiered at galleries and museums internationally such as MoMA, MoCA:NoMi, BAM, Bass Museum, the Contemporary Museum of Montreal with the Montreal Biennial (2014) and film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and the New York Film Festival. She was recently featured in Art Papers, ArtNews and Art Forum discussing identity, Internet and her artistic practices and influences.
  • York Chang (b. 1973, St. Louis, MO) is an interdisciplinary artist who uses forensic and archival information systems as supports for poetic gestures and alternate histories, in order to interrogate the aesthetic conventions of authority which often serve to blur the line between fiction and reality. He earned both his BFA (1996) and Juris Doctorate (2001) from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). York Chang lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, and is represented by Greene Exhibitions. 
     
  • Presidents' Day Holiday

    Feb 15| Academic Dates
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    Otis offices are closed for the Holiday.

  • Oliver Kellhammer is an independent artist, writer and researcher, who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. His recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, cleaning up contaminated soils, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscape damaged by industrial logging and cataloging the ecology of brownfield ecologies. He currently works as a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons in New York City.
     
  • In this performance I try to summarize In search of past time with my own words, as a story of another time which reveals itself contemporary. I deliver my own intimate and personal perception of this book which radiates in my life. Each performance is another opportunity to explore different zones of the book, proceeding at random, inspired by an aleatory and fickle memory. 
     
  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the George H. Scanlon Foundation Lecture REDUX.4 by IÑAKI ÁBALOS

  • Multimedia and digital artist Parker Ito is known for his manipulations of found imagery and web-based systems of communication. Ito’s works often makes use of non-traditional art materials, such as reflective 3M Scotch-lite fabric, automotive paint, and vinyl. He is known for the high volume of his output—sometimes under different names—and his sense of humor. He does not consider himself a conceptual artist, but says his work is rooted in “konceptualism,” which he describes as “similar to when people spell the word ‘cool,’ ‘kewl’ or ‘kool.’”
     

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About Keyword Searching

Search Strategies

A search strategy is an organized method to retrieve information about a specific topic. Use the techniques described below to become a better researcher.

Keyword Searching

In databases and search engines, it is possible to do a broad search for information by typing in a term which you feel describes your topic and using it as a keyword. Every occurrence of your keyword from all the searchable fields will be found. The searchable fields could include the full-text of an article or an entire web page.

You may retrieve a large number of hits. Look carefully at a couple of the relevant hits to get ideas for other terms which could help you refine your search.

Keyword searching can be time consuming and exhausting because it is such a broad method of searching. It can be particularly confusing when searching in a full-text database or when using a search engine on the Web. Remember: Finding too much information is just as problematic as finding too little information.

How can you refine a search?

The distinguishing characteristic of a database is that it contains records with fields that can be sorted, arranged, and searched (see Types of Databases for more information). When confronted with an overabundance of results in a first broad keyword search, you can  narrow your search by limiting it to specific fields. See also: How to broaden or narrow your topic

Searching by Subject Keywords

In some databases (such as EBSCO) you can limit your search to the major content fields: subject, title, and abstract. This will return fewer hits because the term will appear less often when limited to fewer fields. These hits will probably be more relevant to the subject.

Searching by Keywords in Subject Headings

This method narrows your search even further because it limits the keyword search to only one field: the Subject Heading field. In the Otis OPAC (using the Advanced Search), this is called subject keyword. Using a keyword browse or scan allows you to browse terms in a list form. Browsing this list can help you find the correct form of the word (very helpful if you aren't a good speller!). It also shows the number of hits you can expect if you search using the word.

Searching Subject Headings

Searching the Subject Headings field is a very specific method of searching. Subject headings are determined by a human being (an indexer or cataloger) after carefully reading or looking at the item. Each item will have only a few subject terms which must be chosen from a list of allowable subject headings, a controlled vocabulary.

Browsing Subjects is a Good Search Strategy

Because searching subjects is more specific than searching keywords, browsing the subject headings (the allowable terms) from the database is a good way to discover new terms to try. For an example of how to use this search strategy, see Example of How to Clarify Your Topic.

Controlled Vocabularies

In the case of book records in library OPACs, subject headings are usually assigned by catalogers at the Library of Congress at the time the book is published and actually printed within the book (on the back of the title page).

LC publishes a several-volume thesaurus of allowable subject headings called LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings). Librarians rely on it as a means of controlling the terms added to the subject field. Since subject headings are created by humans rather than software, searching subject headings is the most precise method of searching.

The LCSH is an excellent place to look if you need ideas or help in figuring out what terms to search. Call Number: Ref. Z 695.

How can you refine a search on the Web?

Since the Internet is not organized in the same way a research database is, you usually cannot do field searching on the Web nor can you rely on the consistency of a controlled vocabulary. But keep in mind that it is possible to use Boolean operators when searching the web; remember to check the instructions for the search engines you use.

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