Search Query Help

Phrase Searching

To search for a particular phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks ("). For example, the query “teacher education” will only find results with that phrase. To search for an exact title, enclose the title in quotation marks (“). For example, “Population Studies” will only find results which contain that exact phrase in the title.

Boolean Operators

Ulrichsweb offers the following Boolean operations: AND, OR, NOT. By default, all terms in a search are combined with the OR operator.

The use of these three Boolean operators can be used to make queries more specific or more general. For example, because all search terms are (by default) combined with OR, the search “microcircuits nanocircuits” will return results that contain either microcircuits or nanocircuits, or both. The search "microcircuits AND nanocircuits" will only return results that contain both terms.

To exclude items in a search query, use the NOT operator or the minus symbol (also called a dash: "-") before a term. When used in the query “animal NOT dog” all results will appear that contain the term "animal" except those that contain the term “dog.”

You can also combine Boolean operators with quoted terms such as “teacher education” OR “educator training”.


Searches within Ulrichsweb can be performed using the wildcards “?” and “*”.

The question mark (?) will match any one character. For example, it be used to find “Olsen” and “Olson” by searching for “Ols?n”.

The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. For example, a search for “Ch*ter” would match “Charter”, “Character”, and “Chapter”. When used at the end of a word, such as “Temp*”, it will match all suffixes “Temptation”, “Temple” and “Temporary”.

Wildcards can not be used as the first character of a search.

Proximity to Other Words

Use the tilde (~) character at the end of multiple words to define how close those words should appear. For example, when used on the search “yeast bread ~10" the results will only include instances where the terms "yeast" and "bread" are 10 words apart or less.

Search a Range

When searching on "Start Year" or "Circulation," you can perform a range search by using dash symbol: "-". For example, "1990-2000" or "100-1000".

Similar Term Searches

Use the tilde (~) character at the end of a word to match similar terms. When used on the term “Lead~” it will match “Wead”, “Veade”, and “Tead”.