Answered By: Farha Hasan
Last Updated: May 09, 2024     Views: 843

Advanced article search tips

What are the search operators in different article databases?


Use these advanced search tips to make your article searching even more powerful!


Search Operator



Carrefour near5 sales

Carrefour within 5 words of the word sales, where there can be 0-4 words between Carrefour and sales. For example, retail sales posted by Carrefour. The terms can appear in any order. Use with numbers 1-500. near1 is assumed if numbers are omitted. 



Any words that begin with telecom.

You must use at least 3 characters before the truncation (*) sign and it must be used at the end of a word only. Do not enter numbers after the sign. The more characters you enter before the sign, e.g. telecom* rather than tel*, the better your results.



Either globalization or globalisation, or other wildcard spellings.

You must enter a minimum of 3 characters before using the wildcard (?) sign.



nursing NEAR/3 education
media N/3 women

Look for documents that contain two search terms, in any order, within a specified number of words apart.  Replace ‘n’ with a number. In the example, 3 means within 3 words. 
Used alone, NEAR defaults to NEAR/4.



Finds: nurse, nurses, nursed

Finds: colour, color

Finds: told, household, bold

Truncation character (*) - retrieves variations of the search term. Use the truncation character at the beginning (left-hand truncation), the end (right-hand truncation) or in the middle of search terms. Each truncated word can return up to 500 word variations.


nurse?  Finds: nurses, nursed, but not nurse

ad???   Finds: added, adult, adopt

Wildcard character - used to replace any single character, either inside or at the right end of a word. Multiple wildcards can be used to represent multiple characters.

Business Source Complete


tax N5 reform

N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear


comput* to find the words computer or computing

Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *. 


ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next

colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour

The wildcard is represented by a question mark ? or a pound sign #.