Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Google trick: AROUND operator

Posted by Megan on March 25, 2011

Several library databases (such as EBSCO and Factiva) have proximity operators that allow searchers to specify limits on the distance between the search terms they’ve entered.

Google has a somewhat secret proximity operator of its own: AROUND.

Using the word AROUND (all caps) with numbers in parentheses allows you to find words or phrases within a certain number of words of each other on a web page. For example…

“cold war” AROUND(3) kennedy

…retrieves only web pages that include the terms separated by less than three words.

Hat tip to the Google Operating System Blog.

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