Events
  • Alex Olson

    Dec 06| Lectures
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    Artsy best decribes Alex Olson’s works as "abstract, but that’s not how she would choose to refer to them: “In fact, the way I approach painting is almost the opposite in that nothing is an abstraction of something else,” she says. “It literally is what it is.” Olson’s paintings aim to be exact records of how they were made, self-evident in their construction.

  • Marisa Matarazzo is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Writing program at Otis. She is the author of Drenched: Stories of Love and Other Deliriums, which Aimee Bender called "a collection that marks its own territory and stamps it out with a textured beauty." Her work has appeared in Faultline, Hobart, Fivechapters, Unstuck, and other literary journals, and she has taught at UCLA Extension, the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles, and UC Irvine.

  • Gracie DeVito’s work challenges codified modes of art making and production; the output of the work shifts fluidly from painting, to sculpture, to found objects, to performance. Characters and motifs, manifested by DeVito herself or by the characters she creates, rotate through the 2D and 3D spaces of her pieces. 

  • Joint Venture

    Dec 10| Exhibition
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    Joint Venture is a group exhibition of collaborative projects by artists from ECF’s Inglewood Art Center and students from Otis College's Creative Action class, Uniquely Abled, taught by Michele Jaquis and mentored by Marlena Donohue.

     

    December 8, 2016 - January 6, 2017

    Gallery Hours M - F 11am - 3:30pm

     

  • LA Portfolio Day

    Jan 15| Special Event
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    Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to host the Los Angeles Portfolio Day on January 15, 2017 from 12-4pm!

    Bring your portfolio for an informal review by representatives from art and design schools, and learn about their programs of study. Portfolio Day events are held across the country, high school students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and college transfer students are encouraged to attend.

  • James Hannaham

    Jan 25| Lectures
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    James Hannaham is the author of the novels Delicious Foods, which won the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award, and God Says No, a Stonewall Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

  • Tuning the Room

    Jan 28| Exhibition
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    Anna Craycroft: Tuning the Room

    January 28 - April 16, 2017

    Ben Maltz Gallery

O-Tube

About Keyword Searching

Search Strategies

A search strategy is an organized method to retrieve information about a specific topic. Use the techniques described below to become a better researcher.

Keyword Searching

In databases and search engines, it is possible to do a broad search for information by typing in a term which you feel describes your topic and using it as a keyword. Every occurrence of your keyword from all the searchable fields will be found. The searchable fields could include the full-text of an article or an entire web page.

You may retrieve a large number of hits. Look carefully at a couple of the relevant hits to get ideas for other terms which could help you refine your search.

Keyword searching can be time consuming and exhausting because it is such a broad method of searching. It can be particularly confusing when searching in a full-text database or when using a search engine on the Web. Remember: Finding too much information is just as problematic as finding too little information.

How can you refine a search?

The distinguishing characteristic of a database is that it contains records with fields that can be sorted, arranged, and searched (see Types of Databases for more information). When confronted with an overabundance of results in a first broad keyword search, you can  narrow your search by limiting it to specific fields. See also: How to broaden or narrow your topic

Searching by Subject Keywords

In some databases (such as EBSCO) you can limit your search to the major content fields: subject, title, and abstract. This will return fewer hits because the term will appear less often when limited to fewer fields. These hits will probably be more relevant to the subject.

Searching by Keywords in Subject Headings

This method narrows your search even further because it limits the keyword search to only one field: the Subject Heading field. In the Otis OPAC (using the Advanced Search), this is called subject keyword. Using a keyword browse or scan allows you to browse terms in a list form. Browsing this list can help you find the correct form of the word (very helpful if you aren't a good speller!). It also shows the number of hits you can expect if you search using the word.

Searching Subject Headings

Searching the Subject Headings field is a very specific method of searching. Subject headings are determined by a human being (an indexer or cataloger) after carefully reading or looking at the item. Each item will have only a few subject terms which must be chosen from a list of allowable subject headings, a controlled vocabulary.

Browsing Subjects is a Good Search Strategy

Because searching subjects is more specific than searching keywords, browsing the subject headings (the allowable terms) from the database is a good way to discover new terms to try. For an example of how to use this search strategy, see Example of How to Clarify Your Topic.

Controlled Vocabularies

In the case of book records in library OPACs, subject headings are usually assigned by catalogers at the Library of Congress at the time the book is published and actually printed within the book (on the back of the title page).

LC publishes a several-volume thesaurus of allowable subject headings called LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings). Librarians rely on it as a means of controlling the terms added to the subject field. Since subject headings are created by humans rather than software, searching subject headings is the most precise method of searching.

The LCSH is an excellent place to look if you need ideas or help in figuring out what terms to search. Call Number: Ref. Z 695.

How can you refine a search on the Web?

Since the Internet is not organized in the same way a research database is, you usually cannot do field searching on the Web nor can you rely on the consistency of a controlled vocabulary. But keep in mind that it is possible to use Boolean operators when searching the web; remember to check the instructions for the search engines you use.

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