As more researches began using the databases, new searching terms developed. Verify which terms are (and are not!) used by your favorite databases before using them.
This page covers: Phrase searching, Field codes, Proximity indicators, Stop words, Truncation and Wildcards, and additional operations
Phase Searching: Use quotations marks to indicate a phrase. When applied it means that exact phrase must appear somewhere in the database.
All databases use some form of Field Codes. These codes allow you to search individual parts of the citation and to limit your search to specific terms. Look under the Advanced Search or for drop-down menus to find these search terms.
Proximity Indicators are used by some databases to allow searches to find two concepts that are close together or next to each other.
Stop words (or stopwords) are terms that are ignored by the search strategy. The search engine literally stops looking at the word and goes onto the next word or phrase.
Be aware some databases (e.g. PubMed) will ignore a quoted phrase if it contains a "stop word" for that database (e.g. of, the, in, etc.).
Many databases offer options to search for using only part of the word, called Truncation. The first two options (using the wildcards * and ?) are the most common.
Note: Wildcard options generally may not be used inside a phrase search (e.g. "child* therapy" is not an acceptable search, but child* AND therapy is).
EXACT: Used to focus a search on a specific phrase or term, generally in a specific field; also .e
Hyphen (-): Used to indicate a range; generally only used when searching numerical fields (e.g. publication dates).
LNK: Link: Used to link two terms together
SAME: The keywords must be in the same field (e.g. title, address, etc.)