Quotation marks are not just for grammar anymore. Putting quotation marks around a term or phrase of two or more words will yield results that are more accurate than a search of the same words without quotation marks. This is an effective search strategy in SBU Libraries’ databases, the SBU Libraries’ Search and Discover platform, and even on internet searches. For example, searching for “civil war” will produce more targeted results than a search for civil war, because the latter will retrieve any result in which both words appear, no matter how far apart. When does it not pay to use quotation marks in your search? When you are searching for a single word, there is no added value to placing it in quote marks.
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- 3rd Lecture in the Lecture Series of the Office of Global Library Initiatives - January 14, 2016
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