Question by john: What search terms should I use when looking for dental books?
I usually search for oral health, dental health.
If I search for dentist I get concerned the book results will be basic kids books.
Also I try to search for gum disease or periodontology and the more sophisticated words.
Answer by starla
The search terms you are using are a good place to start, but what kinds of search terms you use depend on where you are searching. For example, if you are using a public library catalog and use “dentist” then you’re right, you may get children’s books, but if you’re using a university library catalog, you are less likely to get children’s books.
Some catalogs will allow you to truncate words to do a search that gives you variations of a word. For example, you could try periodont* and then you could books that have the words periodontics, periodontist, or periodontology.
You should also try dentist* to get dentists, dentist and dentistry. The Library of Congress uses the term “dentistry” in its catalog and most academic (university) libraries follow that model.
When you’re trying to figure out search terms, try to explain what you want to look up to someone who is unfamiliar with your topic. This will challenge you to think of different ways to talk about your topic and help you think of different keywords.
Check out www.worldcat.org to find more sources. It will show you the libraries closest to you (based on zip code) that own the materials.
Finally, after you’ve find a couple of sources online, you should head into your library and do some browsing. You can used the bibliographies in the back of books that you have to find other related titles, or just look at the other books on the shelf around the books you found online.
What do you think? Answer below!