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Using Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators

These tips are meant for use with the library's subscription databases. The search mechanism works differently and more efficiently than an Internet search engine such as Google. 

  • use keywords or phrases (two words) that are most relevant to your research
    • cats AND dogs
  • brainstorm for synonyms or other words that define what you are looking for. Put the OR between synonyms
    • cats OR felines
  • use the quotation marks to ensure that the words in your phrase are searched together and not treated as two separate words
    • "domestic animals"
  • nest by grouping sets of keywords between parentheses when using more than one Boolean operator.
    • (cats AND dogs) OR "domestic animals" AND expense

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Article Databases

Basic Database Searching