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Database Help: Phrase searching

Phrase vs Keyword Searching

  • What's the difference between keyword-searching and phrase-searching?
    • Keyword-searching = when you enter multiple words, your results will contain both or all words, but not necessarily together as a phrase.
    • Phrase-searching  = when you enter multiple words, your results will contain only that phrase.
       
  • Most search tools default to keyword-searching. This includes Primo Search, EBSCOhost databases, and ProQuest databases (also Google and Google Scholar). Some databases, e.g. Ovid databases, default to phrase searching.
KEYWORD SEARCHING [most common]
If you enter lung cancer ... ... you will get lung AND cancer.
You must enter "lung cancer" ... ... to get the specific phrase lung cancer.
 
PHRASE SEARCHING [less common]
If you enter lung cancer ... ... you will get the specific phrase lung cancer.
You must enter lung AND cancer ...  ... to get the keywords lung AND cancer.