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 (* $ ?).


Remember that the product uses an implicit AND operator when you enter two or more adjacent terms in most fields. 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.


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.


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 using left-hand truncation and three characters before a wildcard when using right-hand truncation. For example:

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

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

  • The query *oxid* matches terms such as antioxidant, dioxide, oxidative, and polyphenoloxidase.

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



Lemmatization Search Rules

The product automatically applies lemmatization rules in Topic and Title search queries. For example:

  • napkin finds vocabulary variants such as napkin and serviette
  • serfs finds phonological variants such as serfs and serves
  • defense finds spelling variants such as defense and defence


Lemmatization and Quotation Marks

The product will not retrieve synonyms and lemmatized terms when you enclosed your search terms in quotation (" ") marks. For example:

  • "mouse" finds records that contain the word mouse but not mice.
  • "color" finds records that contain the word color but not colour.


Lemmatization and Wildcards

The product turns off lemmatization when search terms are used with wildcards. For example, color* finds records that contain the words color, colors, and colorful but not colour, colours, and colourful.

To find all variants of a term, enter both terms using a wildcard separated by the OR operator. For example, color* OR colour* finds both variants.


Lemmatization and Left-hand Truncation

The product turns off lemmatization when left-hand truncation is used in some types of queries. For example, *valves returns bivalves but not the singular form bivalve.

By adding right-hand truncation to your search, the product returns both plural and singular terms. For example, *valve* returns bivalve and bivalves.


Lemmatization and Too Many Search Terms

The product turns off lemmatization when your search query exceeds the number of terms allowed in a search. When you exceed the limit, the product returns only exact matches.


Using Formulas when Searching

Do not separate alphanumeric characters when entering a formula in your search query.

For example, in a Topic or Title search, the query KxFe2-ySe2 returns multiple results including the title called "The electron pairing of KxFe2-ySe2".

You may use quotation marks in your query. For example, "KxFe2-ySe2" will return the same records as KxFe2-ySe2.


  • Do not use a space between the alphanumeric characters in the query. A query such as K x Fe 2-y Se 2 will return fewer (and unpredictable) results than KxFe2-ySe2. It is the same as entering K AND x AND Fe AND 2-y AND Se AND 2.

  • The query “K x Fe 2-y Se 2" will not return any results.


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.


Using Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks to find exact phrases and to turn off lemmatization and the product's internal synonym finder. For example:

  • "soil drainage" finds soil drainage, but not drainage of soil.

  • "mouse" finds mouse, but not mice.

  • "color" finds color, but not colour.


Spelling Variations

The product automatically finds spelling variations (such as U.S. and U.K. spelling differences) in Topic and Title search terms.

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 and bird, birds, gene, and genes.

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

Click the link for a list of synonyms.