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UBC Library Informatics for Nursing: 1.09 Phrases

An overview of searching Academic Literature for Nursing students

1.09 Phrases

Words are handled differently by different search tools. Many search tools such as Google & Summon assume AND -- so if you enter nursing ethics, you'll retrieve items that contain both words in any order, and perhaps separated by other words.

Do you want a phrase? Use "quotation marks" to indicate a phrase.

For example, in Summon:

  • "nursing ethics" retrieves about 16,000 items
  • nursing AND ethics retrieves about 500,000 items
  • nursing OR ethics retrieves about 7,900,000 items


Caution using quotations in PubMed as it turns OFF automatic mapping to MeSH terms