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InfoSkills for Global Law

InfoSkills @ TiU

2.1. Web of Science: Basic Search page

In contrast to most other databases, Web of Science offers guided searching (with Boolean drop-downs and multiple fields to choose from) on the Basic Search page.

Search rules

Search default

The search default is set to 'All Fields'. Sometimes an All Fields search is too broad. By selecting Topic from the drop down menu, you can search the title, abstract, author keywords and Keywords Plus. Other search fields that can be chosen from the pull-down menu include Title, Author, Publication Titles (used for journal titles), and Abstract.

Boolean operators

Web of Science uses an implicit AND operator when you run a search with two or more adjacent terms. For example, a search on social media is the same as social AND media. Note that Web of Science interprets the AND operator correctly, so you can use it if you prefer to.

Phrase searching

Using quotation marks around phrases in your search will yield results with those specific phrases. For example, if you want to find articles with the specific phrase climate change putting quotation marks around this phrase ("climate change") will yield those results.

Truncation & Wildcards

  • The truncation character is the asterisk (*), used to represent any group of characters, including no character (e.g., searching for econom* will find economy, economics, economical, etc.).
  • The wildcard characters are:
    • the dollar sign ($), which represents zero or one character (useful for finding both the British and American spellings of the same word: flavo$r finds flavor and flavour);
    • the question mark (?), which represents any single character (e.g., searching for ad??? will find added, adult, adopt, but not adoption).

❷ Add date range

The date range defaults to search all dates. 

❸ Add row

Click on 'Add row' to add a new row. Adding a new field also sets the second field to the AND operator. You can change the AND operator to OR or NOT.

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