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Using Boolean and proximity operators are convenient to refine queries in case search results are too noisy or increase the recall when the number of results is too limited.


Each line are limited to 10 000 characters


Several types of operators are available in the search form and in the command line:

- Truncations

- Boolean operators

- Proximity operators

- Numeric operators


Truncation operators


Truncations are symbols that replace one or more characters, which lets you search for different variations of a term. The shortened term must have at least three characters for truncation to properly function.


You can use up to 9 truncations in a same word, or only 7 if you combine 2 different truncations (? and # for example). The operator _ described below is not a truncation. 

 


Definition
Example

+

Truncation replaces any number of characters

bicycle shed+
+inflammatory

?

Truncation replaces zero or one character
Up to nine ?s may be used within a term

bicycle?
alumin?um

#

Truncation replaces exactly one character
Up to nine #s may be used within a term

polymeri#ation?


Tip: 
Always be careful with truncations when the term is short. For example, if I want to catch the plural for the word car, I might be tempted to write car? but such a query will bring noise by retrieving documents containing "care", "card", "cart" on top of the desired "cars".



Boolean operators



Definition
Example

OR

Finds records containing at least one of the words (in the case of a FAMPAT record, at least one of the members will have one or more of your terms)

sulfur OR sulphur

AND

Finds records containing all the words

plutonium AND isotope

NOT

Finds records containing the first term without the second term

suv NOT vesicle



Proximity operators



Definition
Example

F

The terms in the same field

sodium F chlorine  

S

The terms in the same sentence

sodium S chlorine

P

The terms in the same paragraph

sodium P chlorine

D

The terms adjacent in any order inside the same sentence

redundancy D check

nD

The terms adjacent, regardless of the order, separated by a maximum of n words inside the same sentence (n value between 1 and 99)

conduct 2D electric 2D adhesive

=nD

The terms adjacent, regardless of the order, separated by exactly n words inside the same sentence (n value between 1 and 99)

electric+ =2D conduct+ =2D adhesive

W

The terms adjacent in the order specified inside the same sentence; treatment applied by default for two terms entered without operator

smart W card?
smart card?

nW

The terms adjacent  in the order specified and separated by a maximum of n words inside the same sentence (n = value between 1 and 99)

friction 9W pad?

=nW

The terms adjacent in the order specified and separated by exactly n words inside the same sentence (n = value between 1 and 99)

friction =9W pad?

_

The underscore allows for simultaneous searching of terms that may be written as one or two words. It will also retrieve results where there is a hyphen between terms, and it can also be used in chemical formulas. Up to five _s may be used within a term


air_bag

+ethylen+_+carbonate+ 


Parentheses

Parentheses (nesting) are necessary when combining different operators

((wireless W application W protocol) OR wap) NOT (dna OR transgenic)
(hair 2D (dye OR dyeing)) AND oxidate+

 


Note that for the Workfiles module, only Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are available and

usable.  



The video shows a quick example of using Boolean, proximity searching and truncators. Notice the blue font that the software uses to acknowledge the use of truncators/operators and the parenthesis are yellow, showing where they open and close.