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How To Search : Tools of Power Searching

These are the building blocks to constructing precision searches in Academic Indexes


What are they?

Adjacency & proximity operators in bibliographic indexes, journal archives, and web search engines:

  • Allow you to search by phrase or with two or more words in relation to one another.
    • Examples:  
      • servant leadership
      • communities of practice
      • appreciative inquiry
      • developmental theory
  • Are specific to the search platform or search engine under which the database is running, NOT specific to the database, which may be available in several platforms.

Always check the HELP Section of the Discovery Tool to be sure you are using the right syntax for that platform.


 Example #1 - EBSCO Search Platformm 

W# = within X amount of words from the first word - in the order given

Grounded w1 theory ..  finds the phrases grounded theory - but also,  "... is grounded.  Theory building... "

N# =  " near X amount order not important

Grounded n1 theory.. finds all the phrases  grounded theory - but also,  ".... a theory grounded in empirical observation"

 Example #2 - Google Scholar, WorldCat Local, Ohiolink Electronic Journal Center

Use quotation marks   "grounded theory"


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