If you use more than one search term in a search string (= a combination of search terms), almost all search systems will search for documents containing all the terms mentioned. If you want something different, you must indicate this yourself by using operators (the so-called Boolean search).
The best known operators are:
AND: all terms must occur. With this operator you combine different aspects of your subject.
Example: festivals AND drugs AND youth
OR: at least one of the terms must occur. With this operator you can combine different variants of one aspect
Example: (stress OR burnout OR anxiety)
NOT: exclude this term (do not to use it too often or too early in your search, you do not always know what results you exclude).
Example: party NOT political
Exact phrase "... ...": terms must appear in exactly this order.
Example: "social media"
Truncate with *
Example: behavio* to search for behavior, behaviour, behavioral, behavioural, behaviorism, ... in one go
NB! Operators and the meaning of operators can differ per database.
In Web of Science you can use the 'proximity' operator NEAR/x next to the previously mentioned operators.
Use NEAR/x to find sources with search terms that are used within a certain distance. Replace the x for the maximal amount of words between both terms. For example (Germany NEAR/10 "monetary union") gives results where the term "Germany" is found within 10 words from the term "monetary union".
Here you can find More about the use of operators in Web of Science
In Web of Science you can use the following Wildcards:
Here you can find more information about the use of wildcards in Web of Science.
Next to searching for literature Web of Science also offers the option of searching for citations. With Cited Reference Search you can search with a combination of author name, title of journal and publication name. After clicking the button "Search" you can see the citations.
The market for multidisciplinary citation databases is dominated by Web of Science and Scopus. Web of Science is older (started in 1961) and has a very solid reputation among scholars. Scopus is the young contender (2004), but is now also very well known worldwide. The databases have become more and more alike, but there are still some important differences.
Web of Science
Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search are also multidisciplinary scholarly databases with citation information, but support for citation analysis is limited and their data quality control is not as rigid as that of WoS and Scopus.
The default sort order is by publication year (recent to older). In the top bar above your results you can find the option to:
If you get too few results, you can:
If there are too many results to show or view you can:
In your search for scholarly literature you may sometimes find the UBU-link. This link provides information about the availability of the publication via the University Library, in digital as well as in paper format.
UBUlink, quickly to the publication
In the case of digital publications the UBU-link provides direct access. For print publications the UBU-link gives information about availability at Utrecht University Library. Sometimes the UBU-link is in the form of a yellow button, but it can also be a text link.