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IAR field - Subject

Mandatory: YES
Repeatable: NO

Key words and phrases (separated by commas) indicating the subject matter of the resource.


Subject: Water Quality, Testing
Subject: United Kingdom, UK, Legislation, Acts Parliament, Acts Scottish Parliament, Laws, Scotland, England, Wales
Subject: Foreign Policy, East Africa, 1996, Foreign Affairs, Diplomacy


The subject is an important information retrieval tool; the more thought out into the contents of this field, the more likely users are to find exactly what they need. Try to put in specific terms, as very general words such as ’health’ or ’environment’ leave the user searching through hundreds of hits.

Use "natural language" terms as well as technical terms; e.g. put "dole" as well as "unemployment benefit"; "mad cow disease" and "BSE" as well as "Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy". Users are likely to search on any of these, depending on their level of experience and familiarity with the subject.

There is no need to put in "stop words" such as "the" "it" "an" "and" because these are automatically stripped out by the computer before the search is run.

Remember users search on singles and plurals, so put both forms in if possible.

If its relevant, also put in the time period covered by the resource (not the time during which the resource itself was created). See also the Date.

A controlled list of subject terms is planned, but will not be available for several years.