Answered By: Julie Laramie
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2023     Views: 183

Subject Headings Definition

Subject Headings are terms that describe an article’s main topics or ideas. The subject headings reflect the common language and terminology used in a particular field of study and is the most precise way to search article databases. 

For example, in business and management, many terms are used for personnel management including human resources, HR, human resources management and staff management. The standardized subject heading is Personnel Management. To most effectively search for articles on this topic, start your search in a business and management database, type the term personnel management in one of the search boxes. If you are using an EBSCOhost database, in the drop-down menu that reads, "Select a Field (optional)," select SU Subject Terms. Your results will include only articles that have been tagged with that particular Subject Heading as a main topic.


When you find an article you like, look at the Subjects section located under the Abstract of the article. The list of subject headings will help you think of keywords and phrases to narrow your search. 

Business Source Complete search with Subject Terms (SU) Personnel Management

Business Search Complete search result for personnel management (Su Subject Terms)

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