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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.


Putting phrases in quotes can make a huge difference to your search! 

Anything over one word is technically a phrase and should be placed inside "quotation marks". The reason for this is that databases are dumb. They do not understand that multiple words are part of the same phrase unless you tell them. 

For example, if you typed peanut butter and jelly day without quotation marks the database would bring back every article with the word 'peanut' in it, every article with the word 'butter' in it, and so on...

In the example below, you can see that the phrase 'peanut butter and jelly day' was not placed in quotations and Google scholar brought back 27,100 results of which most were not pertinent. 

peanut butter google 1

In the second picture the phrase was placed in quotations and only 23 results came back, but all were pertinent.

peanut butter google 2

Warning  When you put a phrase into quotations the database will search for what's inside the quotations and ONLY what is inside the quotations. For example, a search for aspirin vs Tylenol will fail to bring back articles where the author phrased this differently, e.g. Tylenol vs Aspirin, or Aspirin versus Tylenol.

Phrases are highly specific. Be sure to consider all the different variations and make sure you include them in your search too! 

Note* Some databases, such as, Psychinfo will not accept quotation marks and will assume that everything placed between two Boolean OR statements is a phrase, e.g. OR Tylenol vs Ibuprofen OR Ibuprofen vs Tylenol