TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

KEYWORD SEARCHING PRINCIPLES                                                                                                                                

Operators AND, OR, NOT combine terms using Boolean logic.

          AND           Connects terms to retrieve every record in which all of the specified words appear, regardless of their position in the records. AND is generally used to combine unlike concepts.  

flemish and painting
architecture and renaissance

          OR              Connects terms to retrieve every record in which any one of the words or both appear in the records regardless of their position in the records. OR is usually used to combine like concepts, synonymous terms, or variant spellings.

frescoes or murals
drawings or sketches

          NOT           Excludes any words following NOT and retrieves records in which only the first term appears. The NOT operator should be used with caution. To find African, but not African-American:

african and not american
impressionism not literature

          The Library Catalog uses AND NOT, other databases mat only use NOT.

Nesting enables you to make complex searches. Use parentheses to indicate which terms should be searched together.

landscape painting and (england or britain)

Phrase searching

When you type in a phrase, different things can happen.

In Truman’s Library Catalog if you enter:

Oil paintings the system will look for these words as a phrase in the title, and then AND the words oil and paintings

 To search only for a phrase, put it in quotes:  “oil paintings”

Truncation searches for various forms of a word.

The truncation symbol varies in each database.

In the Library Catalog photograph* retrieves photograph, photographs, photographer, photography

Field Searching

In the Library Catalog you can specify fields to search using field abbreviations.

a: (author)       t: (title)             s: (subject) 

                        a:Lincoln and s:correspondence

 For more information, read the help screens!

Encouraging Discovery