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When searching the Thesaurus in EBSCOhost, what is the difference between Relevancy Ranking and Alphabetical results?

Several of EBSCOhost's secondary databases support a thesaurus (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Environmental Policy Index and ERIC). Thesaurus searching can be accessed via a link on the top toolbar. (If you are accessing MEDLINE, the link is instead labeled "MeSH";). A Browse for Field and the following browse options appear on the search screen: Term Begins With (Alphabetical), Term Contains, and Relevancy Ranked. Enter the term you want to search for and select a browsing method. The default is Term Begins With.

  • If you selected Term Begins With, the list displays the terms in alphabetical order.
  • If you selected Term Contains, the term searched for appears first followed by a list of terms displayed in alphabetical order.
  • If you selected Relevancy Ranked, the exact match for the term appears first followed by a list of terms displayed in order of relevance.

When you know the exact term you are looking for as indexed in the thesaurus, you can effectively use Term Begins With (Alphabetical) browsing. If you are not sure how the term is indexed in the thesaurus, or looking for other related terms, it is recommended that you select Relevancy Ranked browsing.