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IWU OCLS Tutorials: Introduction to Research - Boolean Searching


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Published on July 27, 2021 | 1 minute read



Are you having trouble finding sources for your topic?

Do you need to narrow your search results?


Try boolean operators in your search! 


Boolean operators are the words "AND", "OR" and "NOT".  When used in library databases (typed between your keywords) they can make each search more precise - and save you time!





AND narrows a search by telling the database that ALL keywords used must be found in an article in order for it to appear in your results list. Search for two or more concepts that interest you by combining descriptive keywords with AND. 



OR broadens a search by telling the database that any of the words it connects are acceptable. This is particularly helpful when you are searching for synonyms



NOT narrows your search by telling the database to eliminate all terms that follow it from your search results. This can be useful when you are interested in a very specific aspect of a topic but wants to weed out issues you aren't planning to write about. 

Use NOT with caution as good items can be eliminated from the results retrieved. 

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