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InfoSkills for Social and Behavioral Sciences

InfoSkills @ TiU

2.1. Web of Science: Basic Search page

In contrast to most other databases, Web of Science offers guided searching on the Basic Search page.

Search rules

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.
  • To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks: "social media".

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.).
  • 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).
  • The search default is set to the field 'All Fields'. Other search fields can be chosen from the pull-down menu, such as Topic, Title, Author, and Publication Titles (used for journal titles).

❷ Add date range

The Timespan limit defaults to search all dates (1988-2021). Note that after running a search, you can also filter by date range.

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.