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ABSTRACTS DATABASE ONLINE TUTORIAL

NCJRS Online Thesaurus

About the Thesaurus Term Search

The NCJRS Abstracts Database Thesaurus Term Search allows users to search for materials located in the Abstracts Database using an official NCJRS–controlled vocabulary. This controlled vocabulary is used to assign relevant indexing terms to the documents in the NCJRS collection. These indexing terms are located at the bottom of each abstract record in the Main Term and Index Term fields. See the record below for an example of "Main Term" and "Index Term."

thesaurus term search

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Starting the Search

This search looks only for terms listed in the Title field of the abstract record.

To begin a Thesaurus Term Search:

  • Browse the alphabetical list of thesaurus terms by clicking on the Browse an alphabetical list link and select a term relevant to the search. This step allows users to select exact term(s).

    -- OR --

  • Enter a keyword into the search box and click the "Go" button. This step will search for possible matches and terms related to the keyword(s).

NOTE: When using the keyword search box, a keyword is automatically selected as a search term if it is an exact match. At all other times, users must manually select the search term(s).

thesaurus term search

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Selecting a Term

From the results provided by the keyword search or browsing the thesaurus term list:

  • Check the box next to the appropriate thesaurus term(s).

    -- OR --

  • Expand a term by clicking on the term to view additional information and other related terms.

NOTE: When using the keyword Search box, a keyword is automatically selected as a search term if it is an exact match. At all other times, users must manually select the search term(s).

thesaurus term search

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Expanding a Term

When a term is expanded, the results page will contain information specific to that term. If applicable and available, additional entries (e.g., Scope Note, Used For, Broader Term(s), Narrower Term(s), and Related Term(s)) will be provided.

The Scope Note entry defines or limits the specific use of a term. The Used For entry displays other concepts represented in the NCJRS system by the selected term. Broader Term(s) represent the higher, more general levels of a term's relationships, whereas Narrower Term(s) represent the lower, more focused levels. The Related Term(s) entry performs two functions: It provides alternative search terms and clarifies the scope of the expanded term.

expanding a term

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Adding More Terms

To add more terms to a search, click on the “Add Terms” button and search for more terms as noted above.

adding more terms

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Selected Terms

The terms selected for a search will be displayed within the blue column along the right side of the screen under the heading “Selected Terms”. All of the selected terms can be erased and a new Thesaurus Terms Search begun by clicking on the Begin New Thesaurus Term Search link at the bottom of the page.

selected terms

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View the Search Terms

After selecting the term(s) to search for, click the “Finalize Terms” button.

view search terms

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Executing the NCJRS Abstracts Database Search

After clicking on the “Finalize Terms” button, a list of all the selected terms will appear.

  • Choose to find more terms, deselect search terms, or execute the search.

  • Choose either ALL or ANY to connect the search terms. Using ALL between the search terms means that those terms must be present as indexing terms in the record(s) returned. Using ANY means that any of the selected terms may be present, but not necessarily all of the terms. In general, ALL will reduce the number of hits returned but give a more precise search; ANY will increase the number of hits returned but will not offer as much precision.

  • Click on the “Execute Search” button.

All of the selected terms can be erased and a new Thesaurus Terms Search begun by clicking on the “Begin New Thesaurus Term Search” link at the bottom of this page.

executing search

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iewing the Results

The results of the Thesaurus Term Search are presented in the same format with the same features as traditional NCJRS Abstracts Database searches.

search results

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