Keywords allow you to construct a search that reflects multiple issues in your research question. Building sets of related concepts and looking for their overlaps gives you more relevant and precise results. This approach is called Boolean searching using the operators AND, OR, NOT.
For example, a search for labor AND indonesia will return items that contain both "labor" and "indonesia":
labor OR workers returns items that contain either "labor" or "workers" or both:
trade NOT union returns items that contain "trade" but not the word "union":
An important strategy to use when searching for phrases ("commodity chain") or for titles in the Tripod Catalog:
For example, "global shift" will search for global AND shift in that order, finding the book by Peter Dicken
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.
For example, one could search for politic* to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.
Wildcard searches are for differences within words: a search for wom?n will return results for woman, women, and womyn.
When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is important to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.
For example, (labor OR work*) AND indonesia* will return results for Indonesia and any one (or both) of the parenthetical terms.
(Many catalogs and databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search boxes to facilitate nested searching.)