Proximity searching allows you to find results where your search terms appear close to one another (e.g. three words apart). The premise is that if your terms appear close together, the words are probably being discussed in the same context. Use proximity searching when you are getting too many results, especially ones that use your search terms, but not together.
Unfortunately there is not a universal way to construct a proximity search. Consult a database's "Help" menu to find out how to use this method in that specific database. Here are the formats for the databases listed on this guide:
Note: The number 3 is used as an example and can be replaced by any number. You might try 3 then 10 then 15 then 25.