Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Web of Science: Basic Search

Access Web of Science

AND, OR, NOT, NEAR

These words are known as Boolean Operators.

  • AND = all searched words in the results
  • OR = any of the searched words in the results

*Note: OR should be used for synonymous concepts. For example: children OR kids OR youth

  • NOT = word left out of results
  • NEAR = words a certain distance from each other in results finds results  

*Note: Use NEAR/x. x = number of words between search terms. 

For example: measles NEAR/4 outbreak will return results where "measles" and "outbreak" are no more than 4 words away from one another.

Wildcards

Wildcards are symbols you can use to represent letters to return more complete search results. They can be used at the beginning (left-hand truncation), middle or end (right-hand truncation) of a word in the Topic and Title fields and at the end of a search in the Author field.

  • (*) can be any number or characters including no character.

               Examples: *ball would find "beachball" "volleyball" "basketball" s*food would find "seafood" and "soyfood"; muse* would find "muses" "mused" and "museum"; a search for John* could find "John", "Johns", "Johnson", "Johnsons"

               Note: When using left or right-hand truncation you must enter at least three characters. So, *bio is a valid search, but *bi is not.

               Note: When used in author searches, you must enter at least two letters before the wildcard.

  • (?) can represent any one character

                Examples: wom?n would find "woman" and "women"

  • ($) can be zero or one character

                 Examples: grain$ would find "grain" and "grains"; colo$r would find "color" and "colour"

                  Note: You can not use the $ when searching in quotations

How to Conduct a Basic Search

  • Select from the fields topic, title, author as well as many others.
  • Use quotation marks to search words as a phrase.
  • Add a field to search multiple fields at once.
  • Capitalization does not matter when searching.
  • The order of precedence for search operators is: NEAR, NOT, AND, OR. You can use parentheses to override the default order.
  • If searching a phrase when using NEAR, be sure to put the phrase in quotation marks.‚Äč

Basic Search

Basic Search Screen

 

Subject Guide