Web of Science: Search Tools
Web of Science recognizes several different search operators and wildcards. You can incorporate these into your search strategies in order to refine and customize your search.
AND: Citations retrieved include all of the terms.
Using AND will retrieve fewer results because both terms must be present in the citation.
Example: e-coli AND salmonella
OR: Citations retrieved include either term.
Using OR will retrieve more results because either term can be present in the citation.
Example: anorexia OR bulimia
NOT: Will exclude a term from your search.
Use NOT with caution as it may exclude relevant results.
Example: mutation NOT frameshift
NEAR/n: Will find records containing all terms within a certain number of words (n) of each other.
Example: cancer NEAR/3 breast
Web of Science uses several built-in wildcard characters that help you search for variations on a word or phrase.
The asterisk (*) represents any group of characters, including no character.
- Example: educat* will retrieve education, educator, educational, educated, etc.
The question mark (?) represents any single character.
- Example: wom?n will retrieve woman or women
The dollar sign ($) represents zero or one character.
- Example: behavio$r will retrieve behavior or behaviour
Wildcards will work at the beginning, middle, or end of a word in Web of Science and can also be used in phrases enclosed in quotation marks.