Answered By: Maria Bartolotti
Last Updated: May 02, 2017     Views: 41

A phrase search allows you to search for documents using an exact phrase rather than a string of keywords.

Most databases recognize the AND connector when using keywords together. For example if you use the keywords genetic engineering, it is the same as searching genetic AND engineering. The search results will include both keywords but not necessarily as an exact phrase.

In order to search for an exact phrase you need to enclose the keywords in quotation marks, e.g. “genetic engineering.” Phrase searches are more precise than keyword searches so will retrieve fewer records.

If you need help with keyword or phrase searching or any aspect of doing research, be sure to chat with a reference librarian about your research assignment; we can save you time and make sure you know about important resources in your research subject area. Librarians are available to assist you in person, online, or by phone and text.

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