Free text, truncating and exact phrase

It is not all techniques, which are the same and supported by all the resources so the way they are used can vary. Therefore, you should always check each resource’s local help function, but there are some basic search functions and searching techniques:

Free-text searching
Free-text searching is when you search for individual words exactly as they are written.

Most databases and some search engines let you truncate a search term by using a character such as * or ?. Truncating expands a word root so that you can get many different word endings, plural forms, etc.For example searching for african* in PubMed expands your search to search such as: african, african’s, africana, africans, africans’, africanization, etc.

Exact Phrase Searching
If you want to find a phrase such as “Ivory Coast” you should place your search term in quotes in most databases and search engines. When search terms are placed in quotes the words need to be found in the exact order as shown, rather than both of the words appearing somewhere in the article or database entry.

Listen to what the librarian says about hor to perform a good literature search:

Learn more about how to combine search terms – the Boolean logic on the next page.

Previous Page 2 of 6 Next