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Database Searching: Boolean


Learn what the three basic Boolean Operators are, and how to use them in your search.

Boolean Operators

The three basic Boolean operators are ANDOR, and NOT.  Using them properly can help:

  • connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your set of results
  • focus a search, particularly when your topic contains multiple search terms.

  • connect various pieces of information to find exactly what you're looking for

How do I use...

Search Order

Databases return results based on the commands (searches) you enter. Be aware of the logical order in which words are connected when using Boolean operators: 

  • Databases usually recognize AND as the primary operator, and will connect concepts with AND together first.
  • If you use a combination of AND and OR operators in a search, enclose the words to be OR-ed together in parentheses.



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