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How to Search the Literature (Advanced)

This guide offers an eight step approach from identifying your topic to managing your search strategy and results

Boolean Operators

The OR operator broadens your search results by retrieving records that contain either or both of your search terms or concepts.

  • Usually, terms within a concept are combined using the Boolean OR operator.

The AND operator narrows the search results by retrieving records that contain both of your search terms or concepts.

  • Usually, different concepts are combined using the Boolean AND operator

The NOT operator narrows the search results by eliminating a specific search term. 

  • Use the NOT operator with caution.  It can eliminate relevant results that happen to mention the term you are "noting" out.