Introduction to SLIM: Topic Searching

If you are interested in a certain topic or subject, but have no idea how to locate them in the huge amount of library collection.  The article will introduce several tips to quickly find the materials of a certain topic using the SLIM system.  【中文說明請見此文章:SLIM雲端圖書館自動化系統介紹(17)建立個人閱讀書單

1. Using Keywords

It’s familiar to most of the readers to use keywords to search.  It is especially suited for the situation that only the topic interested is known.  Let’s use “Career Planning” as an example.

There are 1,475 results and it must be too much for one to read all of them.  Also, there might be some results unwanted but still show up in the results.  This is the limitation of the keyword searching.

You may use the “Advanced Search” to refine the searching results. However, this method is better suited for those who are clear about what they want.  They could use the searching conditions, such as year, author, or another keyword, to constrain the result.  But, for those who don’t have a clear thought about the results expected, it is better to try other methods.


2. Using Subject Headings

You could browse through the searching results using the above method.  Find the one which seems to be close to the subject expected. Click the title to enter the bibliography page.  There is a field named “Subject” under “Details”.  To put it simply, the “Subject” is like the hashtag # in Facebook and Instagram.  It could help you to find the materials with the same subject.  In the example, the subject headings include “Vocational Guidance” and “Job Hunting”, etc.

Use “Job Hunting” as an example.  Click on it and 126 materials with the same subject heading “Job Hunting” will be shown.  Is it getting closer to what you want?

If 126 is still a large number, you can use the filter on the left hand side of the page to further refine the result.  You might use the “Year” to refine the results due to the concern of novelty.  Or, limit the results to a specific “Language”.

On the other hand, each book might be assigned more than one subject heading during the cataloging process to fully described the book.  For this example, there’re also other subject headings, such as “Employee selection”, “Industrial relations”, and “Online social networks in business”.  You could use the steps above to find more materials interested.


[Using Call Number]

Browsing through the call number of each item from the searching results, you might find out that collections with similar topic will have similar call number.  It the number assigned to each item according to the relative categories and cataloging rules of a certain classification scheme.  As its name implies, the materials under the same category will be placed together in the library.  After browsing the results, you can either make use of the “Virtual Browse” underneath, or visit the library directly and navigate through the shelves with the call number identified as the category interested.  Both ways will help you to explore more relevant materials.


Further Readings: Guide for NTU Library SLIM system


by Chia-Ho Chen