Descriptors are terms used by each database to "officially" label a particular concept. This is referred to as a controlled vocabulary. Descriptors are also known as subject terms.
Descriptors used by a particular database can be found in that database's Thesaurus or Subject Terms Lookup.
The video below explains when you might want to use descriptors in your advanced searches.
In some databases, like EBSCOhost, the link to the Thesaurus is found in a menu bar at the very top of the page. In this case, it is called Subject Terms.
In other databases, like ProQuest, the link to the Thesaurus is found in the Advanced Search screen.
When you want to search by descriptor or subject term, go to the database's Advanced Search.
Enter your descriptor/subject term in the search box, and use the pull-down menu next to it to select SU Subject Terms (or in some databases, DE Descriptor).
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