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NUR 2510: Evidence-Based Nursing Informatics


  • All terms must be found
  • Focus and narrow results
  • Ex. hypothermia AND lower temperature AND febrile


  • Connect similar concepts
  • Broaden results
  • Ex. heart attack OR myocardial infarction 


  • Exclude terms from results
  • Narrow results
  • Ex: dementia NOT Alzheimer's

The video below explains these these operators and provides more examples. (4 min)

Exact phrases

  • Search exact phrase that is within the quotation marks " "
  • Ex: "music performance" will find results with those words in that order, but won't find similar phrases, like "performance of music"


  • Find all forms of the root word that ends in an asterisk *
  • Ex: teen* will find the words teen, teens, teenager, teenagers, teenaged, etc.
    • Tip: The Truncation symbol (*) may also be used between words to match any word. For example, a midsummer * dream will return results that contain the phrase, a midsummer night’s dream.

Grouping terms

  • Group search terms together using parentheses ( )
  • Much like the order of operations in math, parentheses tell the database what order to do the search in
  • Ex: (juvenile OR young adult) AND fiction

The video below covers these modifiers with additional examples. (4 min)

Wildcards are represented by a question mark ? or a pound sign #.

To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?. The database finds all citations of that word with the ? replaced by a letter. 

For example, type ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next. Most databases do not find net because the wildcard replaces a single character.  

Tip: When searching for a title that ends in a question mark, the symbol should be removed from the search in order to ensure results will be returned.

To use the # wildcard, enter your search terms, adding the # in places where an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. The database finds all citations of the word that appear with or without the extra character.

For example, type colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.