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
doctors or physicians
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
SARS and treatment
children and obesity
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.
dolphins not football
Truman’s Library Catalog uses AND NOT.
dolphins and not football
2. Phrase searching
When you type in a phrase, different things can happen.
In Truman’s Library Catalog:
tissue donation will look for the words as a phrase in the title,
and then AND the word-- tissue and donation
To search for a phrase, put it in quotes:
3. Truncation (*) enables you to search for portions of words.
communicat* Retrieves communication, communicating, 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)