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Research Process: Proximity Searching

an introduction to the research process at a very basic level

Proximity Searching

Proximity searching is a way to search for two or more words that occur within a certain number of words from each other. The proximity operators are composed of letters (N or W) and numbers to specify the number of words to be used.

Instructions from popular databases at USEK Library & from Google

The example below would retrieve the following: term employee within 5 words of the term retention (in any order) AND either the term manager OR the term supervisor. Note that ProQuest Central does not have the N or Near operator, and the W/# operator yields the terms in any order.

alt="Screenshot of ProQuest Advanced Search with an example proximity search"

The below example would retrieve the following: items including the term school within 4 words of the term readiness (in any order) AND the exact phrase “teacher perception.”

alt="Screenshot of ScienceDirect Advanced Search with an example proximity search"

Google use the Proximity AROUND. See example below :

alt="Screenshot of Google with an example proximity search"

Click here to know more about using Google Proximity Search.