Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2018     Views: 192

In library databases, proximity searches limit results to those that include terms within a specified number of words from each other. To perform a proximity search, enclose your search terms in quotes and use the tilde (~) followed by a number indicating the distance you want to allow between the search terms.

For example: searching for "yeast bread"~10 finds material where "yeast" and "bread" appear within 10 words of each other.

NOTE: proximity searching does not take the order of search terms into account. In this example, a search for "boron nanotubes potassium"~6 yields results in which those three search terms appear within six words of each other in any order.

Keep in mind that not all databases or search engines support proximity searching, or, if they do, they may require you to format your search differently.  See instructions for EBSCO and ProQuest databases, for example.

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