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D170 Interior Design Studio

Resources for finding biographies of designers, as well as artworks.

Subject Terms

Subject Terms can help you identify effective keywords. Most databases list Subjects in their search results.

For example, in OneSearch

1. Do an initial search. 

2. Under Refine Search click on Subject.

Too Few Results?

If your initial searches bring back no or few results, don't give up! Don't despair! Reassess your search strategy.

Possible Reasons

Choice of Search terms

Choosing the right search terms is key.

  • Experiment with related terms.
  • In databases Subject Terms can help you identify keywords.
  • Use OR to search for multiple related terms simultaneously. (e.g., policy OR law)

Too Many Search Terms

Database can be picky about search terms. Be selective.

  • Begin with one of two search terms that best represent your topic. Then add other terms as needed.
  • Avoid long phrases and empty words like “the” and “how.”

Too Many Limiters

If you limited the search (e.g., by date or search field) remove limiters and reassess.

Narrow Topic

Highly specific topics may be too narrow for finding results. Try a broader related topic first.

  • Narrow search: Bloomington Indiana AND environmental policy
  • Broader search: United States AND state government AND environmental policy

Database Choice

Different databases focus on different topics, so it could be that your search terms are well calibrated, but you're looking in the wrong place. View Resources by Subject or Ask a Librarian.

Too Many Results?

Add additional keywords.

  • TIP: In databases Subject Terms can help you identify more narrow topics and keywords.

Choose more narrow search terms


  • Broader term: law
  • Narrower term: "environmental law"

Use limiters

 Search fields like

  • title
  • abstract
  • author

Or use limiters on the side to refine by

  • publication date
  • format type
  • subject

In OneSearch, you can see options under Refine Search.

Search for a short phrase with quotation marks. 


  • "environmental law"
  • "environmental justice"