Power User Tips
Learn to search the way librarians do!
Boolean and Proximity Operators [ Top ]
You can use operators and modifiers in query expressions to instruct the search engine to widen or narrow the focus of a search by applying logic to your query. The most popular logical terms are the operators AND, OR, and NOT. Modifiers can be used with operators to further define your question. These frequently-used words (AND, OR, and NOT) are interpreted as Verity Query Language by default.
You can focus the search more closely by telling the search engine to retrieve documents that contain the search terms in close proximity to each other: that is, near each other or in a specified order. The operators used for proximity searching are NEAR, NEAR/x, and the pair ORDER NEAR.
|Boolean and Proximity Operators:||Note: all operators except AND, OR, and NOT must be surrounded by "<" and ">" symbols.|
|Find both terms||term1 <AND> term2||proton <AND> electron|
|Find one or both terms||term1 <OR> term2||smith <OR> jones|
|Find one or both terms (both scores higher)||term1 <ACCRUE> term2||smith <ACCRUE> jones|
|Find documents excluding a term||term1 <NOT> term2|
|"lasers" <NOT> "excimer"|
|Find terms in close proximity||term1 <NEAR> term2||air <NEAR> pollution|
|Find terms separated by x words||term1 <NEAR/x> term2 (where x = # of words separating terms)||optical <NEAR/3> systems|
|Find nearby terms in a given order||<ORDER> <NEAR> (term1 term2)||<ORDER> <NEAR> ("thin film")|
Wildcard Characters [ Top ]
Selects documents that contain matches to a character string containing variables. Wildcard characters let you define a search string with variables, which can be used to locate related word matches in documents. You can use the following wildcard characters to represent variable portions of search strings.
|Specify one and only one character|
(You can use a ? to specify the first letter of a word)
|?||p?oton (finds proton, photon)|
|Specify zero or more characters|
(You cannot use a * to specify the first letter of a word)
|*||neutr* (finds neutron, neutrino, ...)|