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Pharmacy Databases & Information Literacy: Building Searches

Hit or Miss V. Phrase Searching

 Hit or Miss Search

Hit or Miss Search: penicillin allergy children

Thanks to Google's engineering our hit or miss search is relevant, but see how our key words are ungrouped?

 Phrase Searching " "


Phrase Search: "penicillin allergy" children

This time our words are grouped as we'd like to see them!

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Boolean Operators

Search: "children" OR "kids" OR "juveniles"

Results contain all of the sources that contain ANY of those search terms.

And, +

Search: penicillin AND allergies
Results contain sources with BOTH of those terms

Not, -

Search: penicillin AND allergies NOT pregnant

Results contain sources containing results relating penicillin allergies
WITHOUT those mentioning pregnant women.

Let's try these out.

Truncation and Wild Cards


Truncation symbols, typically the * or ?, allow for you to search for variations of a root word.
Some databaes allow for left truncation (*root) most allow right truncation (root*) and a few allow for
both truncations at once (*root*).

Right Truncation Search:  allerg*


5+ searches in 1!



Wildcards, typically the #, look for all possible variations of a letter in a single position within a word.

Search: #-lactam
β-lactam, B-lactam, (b)-lactam


Sample Search Strategy