Truncation, phrase searching and proximity operators

There are different techniques to make searches more efficient. They can be used in  different ways in different databases, so be sure to check the help section of the database. Here are some examples:

  • Truncation - adding a symbol, often the *, to the stem of a word will retrieve different endings and inflections of the term used, 

  bicycl* will include bicycle, bicycles, bicyclist, bicyclists and so on.

  • Phrase searching - putting citation marks around two words tells the database that these words should appear together, 

  "facial injuries"

  • Proximity operators are used in some databases when doing free text searches. Proximity operators state that two words should appear in the text at a certain distance from each other in a text.                                                             

face NEAR/5 injuries

Such a search would retrieve an article with a wording like:  "...like any other part of the face, the cheek is susceptible to injuries with a potential to...". However, such a search would not find articles where there are more than five words between face and injuries.