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Searching for Articles: Boolean

Tip!

Tool Tip Icon

Are you finding too much or not enough information? Try using boolean operators and truncation symbols, or use alternative, narrower, or broader keywords to vary your results.

 

WARNING!  Just like in Algebra, the placement of your parentheses is important in performing a search.  It is a good practice to always place your OR search terms together, on one line, surrounded by parentheses.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are connector words, such as AND, OR, and NOT, that are used to combine or exclude words in a search string for more focused results.

Operator Examples Results
AND

information AND ethics

Speech AND Freedom

Results contain     
ALL of the search terms.
OR

education OR schooling

boat OR ship

theater OR theatre

Results contain ANY of the search terms, but not necessarily all of them.
NOT

windows NOT glass

Garfield NOT cat

Excludes results containing
the second search term.
 

Boolean Logic

Boolean Logic

Click on each pair of circles in the Venn diagrams to learn more.

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Warning Tip!

WARNING!  Nesting involves using parentheses to ensure that Boolean operations are performed in the sequence you intend. This technique allows you to build a complex search using two or more operators (AND, OR, NOT). CAUTION! You may not build a good search using more than one Boolean operator without using nesting.

 

Just like in Algebra, the placement of your parentheses is important in performing a search in the proper sequence.  It is a good practice to always place your OR search terms together, on one line, surrounded by parentheses.  For example: