BASICS OF KEYWORD SEARCHING
1. Operators AND, OR, NOT combine terms using Boolean logic.
OR Connects terms to retrieve
every record in which either, both, or any one of the
words appear, regardless of their position in the records. OR is usually used to combine
like concepts, synonymous terms, or variant spellings.
plagues or pandemics or epidemics
grief or bereavement
AND Connects terms to retrieve
every record in which all of the specified words appear,
regardless of their position in the records. AND is usually used to combine unlike
art and death
"drunk driving" and prevention
NOT Excludes any words following
NOT in the search statements and retrieves records
in which only the first term appears. The NOT operator should be used with caution.
death not suicide
Truman’s Library Catalog uses AND NOT.
death and not suicide
2. Phrase searching
When you type in a phrase, different things can happen.
In Truman’s Library Catalog:
near death experiences will look for the words as a phrase in the title,
and then AND the word-- near and death and experiences
To search for a phrase, put it in quotes:
“near death experiences”
3. Truncation (*) enables you to search for portions of words.
child* Retrieves child, children, child's, children's, etc.
Note: Truncation symbol varies with the database (* $ !).
4. Nesting enables you to make complex searches. Use parentheses to indicate which terms should be searched together.
cancer and (diet or nutrition or food)