Searching the Topic Field

Enter Topic terms to search the following fields within a record.

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Author Keywords
  • Keywords Plus®


Enter your search terms in any order. The product returns every record containing all your search terms. To look for an exact phrase, use quotation marks. Example: "global warming"

Enter terms connected with search operators (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR). Enter complete words and phrases or partial words and phrases using wildcards (* $ ?).


Right- and Left-hand Truncation

Both right- and left-hand truncation are allowed when using wildcards (* $ ?) in Topic and Title searches. You must enter at least three characters after a wildcard when used at the beginning of a word and three characters before a wildcard when used at the end of a word.

The following are valid search examples when using right-hand and left-hand truncation.

  • The search query *oxide matches terms such as peroxide, sulfoxide, nitric oxide, zinc oxide, and more.

  • The search query oxid* matches terms such as oxidation, oxidative, oxidizing, and more.

  • A search on *oxid* finds terms such as antioxidant, dioxide, oxidative, polyphenoloxidase, and more.

The following are invalid search example since they do not include three characters before or after the wildcard.

  • ox*
  • *ox*
  • *ox*


Implied AND Operator

Remember that the product uses an implicit AND operator when you enter two or more adjacent terms in most fields thereby allowing you to save time and effort when creating and entering search queries. For example:

Entering rainbow trout fish farm in a Topic or Title search is equivalent to entering rainbow AND trout AND fish AND farm -- both queries return the same number of results.


Using Formulas when Searching

Separate alphanumeric characters when entering a formula in your search query. Alphanumeric characters are indexed in the database as terms and each character is separately indexed.

For example, in a Topic or Title search, the query K x Fe 2-y Se 2 returns multiple results including the following article: "The electron pairing of K(x)Fe(2-y)Se(2)"

Notice that some of the characters in the title of the article are surrounded by parentheses. They are considered separators--they are not needed in a search query although you may use them.

To get an exact match, always use quotation marks in your search. For example, "K x Fe 2-y Se 2" returns multiple result.

Caution: Always use a space between the alphanumeric characters in the search query. A query such as "KxFe2-ySe2" (with or without quotation marks) will not return any results.


Search Rules

  • AIDS, Aids, and aids returns the same results: case does not matter.

  • Enzym* matches enzyme, enzymes, enzymatic, and enzymology.

  • Sul*ur matches sulfur and sulphur.

  • *Cycline* matches doxycycline, monocycline, and tetracycline.

  • *Oxide matches peroxide, sulfoxide, nitric oxide, zinc oxide, and more.

  • Vitamin D matches vitamin D.


Search Examples

  • "Water consumption" finds records containing the exact phrase water consumption.

  • Water AND consumption finds records containing the words water and consumption. The two words may appear in the same Topic field or they may be in different Topic fields.

  • Water consumption (without quotation marks) is equivalent to the search water AND consumption.

  • Water AND consum* finds records containing the words water, consume, consumed, consumer, consumption, and so on.

  • *Water AND consumption finds records containing the words water, freshwater, saltwater, seawater, and consumption.

  • Water OR consumption finds records containing either water or consumption or both words.

  • Water NEAR/5 consumption finds records containing the words water and consumption within five words of each other.


Search Tips

Use quotation marks to find exact phrases. For example, "soil drainage" finds soil drainage, but not drainage of soil.

Use terms without quotation marks to find records that contain those terms. For example, soil drainage finds soil drainage, drainage of soil, soil type and drainage, and so on.


Spelling of Search Terms

The product automatically finds spelling variations (such as U.S. and U.K. spelling differences) in Topic and Title search terms. If you enter a U.S. term, the product automatically searches for the equivalent spelling and vice-versa.

For example, if you enter color in the Title field, the product finds all records that contain the term color and/or colour in the article title.

To turn off the this feature, enter a term using quotation marks ( "" ). For example:

  • Color AND Bird* AND Gene* finds all articles that contain the terms color or colour, along with the terms bird, birds, gene, genes, and so forth.

  • "Color" AND Bird* AND Gene* finds only articles that contain the term color, along with the terms bird, birds, gene, genes, and so forth.

Click the link for a short list of terms.