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Search and Find - Information Searcher's Journey


Common terms for information searching with their descriptions:

Word in english Description
advanced search A more versatile search of a database or other source of information, usually with more detailed search limitation options.
basic search The default search for databases, i.e. the search box that appears first. Includes the functionality of basic search, more detailed options can be found in the advanced search.
database A collection of content-related information in one place. The information in the databases is not usually found on Google, but each database has its own search page built specifically for it.
full text Article or other text in full, usually in pdf-format.
index term list, thesaurus, subject glossary

Index term lists or subject glossaries can be general, sectoral or hierarchical lists of subject headings.

The thesaurus also indicates the relationships between terms and often includes synonyms and antonyms of words.

open access Free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone
peer-review, peer-reviewed An article or other text that has undergone a peer-review process, i.e. the scientific reliability of the article has been assessed by experts in the same discipline before publication, is peer-reviewed.
reference The reference in the text to the source from which the information originates. The reference contains information that can be used to find the actual source (e.g. author's name, article/book title, date of publication, journal name).
reference database The database containing only reference information for sources, not full text.
search word, key word Any word that can be used to search for information.
source, information source The object on which information is sought, for example, a book, a journal, an article, etc.
subject heading, index word, index term, keyword

A word in a controlled vocabulary (e.g. YSO, Mesh, LCSH)

The word Subject or Topic(s) may also be used.


The thesaurus also indicates the relationships between terms and often includes synonyms and antonyms of words.

See also index term list.

truncation (of the word) Truncation is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings. For example work* > work, workers, workplace, workshop... Truncation mark is usually * or ? (asterisk or question mark)

Sources: Sanastokeskus/Tepa termipankki 2022, Kotimaisten kielten keskus/Kielitoimiston ohjepankki 2022, Haasio 2020.