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ECON 284: Economic Development in Japan

For Professor Bruce Dalgaard - Fall 2012

Keywords & Subject Links

Keywords are the critical words used to describe your topic in the literature.  For example:  organic farming Japan.  Notice -- the less important words like:  an, in, the, of  are left out of the statement.  Every word you ask for has to be present in the item you're retreiving, so just use the words you really need.

Subject links are provided by the Library of Congress cataloging librarians to describe your topic consistently.  For example, you might be interested in organic farming in Japan but the most important work is titled, "One Straw Revolution"  which doesn't use any of the words you chose initially.

So, your best searching technique in library catalogs would be to:

  1. Search using keywords to find at least one item of interest
  2. Use the subject links in the middle of the screen (in blue) to find other items the Library of Congress librarians deemed to be about your topic even if the exact words weren't used in the title.  Note that the headings are "bread-crumbed" so use as much detail as is appropriate to your interests.

When you use a huge catalog like World Cat, it's good to search using subject terms you identified in Catalyst rather than by keyword.

Honing your Keywords

Shortening your keywords --  You can search words with a common root by "truncating" them with an *.

For example,

Comput*  will search compute, computer, computers, computerize, computing and so on.

It's always good to put a * symbol after a country name when you search.  For example,

Japan*  will bring up items using the terms  Japan, Japan's, Japanese

Keeping words in phrases together -- It's important to keep words in phrases together to keep them in context.  For example,

"sustainable agriculture" would bring up items on sustainable agriculture. 

If you didn't use the quotation marks you might end up with items about sustainable growth in conventional agriculture which is not what you are looking for.


Catalyst -- St. Olaf & Carleton Libraries

To identify books, videos, journals, etc. owned by St. Olaf and Carleton, consult:

All Formats

Catalyst searches for books, DVDs, a selection of government documents and other items owned by the two colleges.

Material housed at St. Olaf may be requested directly from Catalyst by clicking on the Request link. Twice-a-day deliveries (Monday through Friday) between the two schools assure a quick exchange!

Need more? Check other libraries

Search WorldCat, the world's largest network of library content, such as books, music CDs, videos, and digital material. It's probably a good idea to limit your search to English-language materials unless you are comfortable with other languages as well.


If you find an item that you would like to request, click

Request via Interlibrary Loan

to be directed to the Interlibrary Loan login screen. Use your Carleton credentials to login, then check the prefilled form for errors and submit. You'll get an email when the item is ready. 

Want to preview titles? Try Google Books

Google Books certainly doesn't have everything, but it is a rich source of full-text books published prior to 1923 and also of contemporary books which you can search by keyword for relevant sections.  Great for pre-searching items to request later on Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad).

Also Check out the Hathi Trust -- a library-run project digitizing books as well:

Sample Subject Headings

Japan Economic Conditions 1945-1989

Japan Foreign Economic Relations

Japan Economic Conditions 1945-