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False drop

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In database searching, an irrelevant entry or record retrieved in a keywords search. False drops (also called false hits) usually occur when the keyword(s) used in a search statement have more than one meaning.

For example, a keywords search on the term aids will retrieve not only information about HIV infection, but also about hearing aids, teaching aids, and band-aids. To correct this problem, the word disease can be included to make the keywords search more specific.

False drops can be more likely to occur when searching a full-text database, instead of within the confines of a defined controlled vocabulary.

See also: Boolean searching

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