When you search by keyword in a database:
Searching by keyword can be a flexible way to find a large number of results. You can use keyword searching as a way to find targeted results: slang, jargon, and new terms work well in keyword searches.
When you search by subject, you are using a term from a pre-defined controlled vocabulary determined by that database. Many databases feature a subject-specific thesaurus of subject terms that relate back to the contents in that database. You will only receive articles that were assigned the subject heading you searched with. For this reason, articles found via subject heading searches can be very reliable. The subject will appear in the record item's subject heading or descriptor field.
Searching by subject can be a very specific way to find targeted results within a specific discipline or research area. This can be very beneficial to your research; however, searching by subject only works if you know which subject terms to search with.
Boolean searching refers to a search technique that uses tools called operators and modifiers to limit, widen, and refine your search results.
Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT
When used, boolean operators can limit and refine or widen and expand your search. Operators tie your search terms together in different ways.
Boolean Modifiers can further expand, refine, and improve a search. Boolean modifiers include the asterisk, *, (also known as truncation/wildcard searching), (parentheses), "quotation marks".