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Information Literacy: Boolean Searches & Nesting

Information Literacy

Boolean Operators

Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine keywords in a search.

1.  Use AND to narrow a search. Both and/or all search terms must be present in all references retrieved.         Example:  global warming AND forests     

                    

2.  Use OR to expand a search. Your search will retrieve records with EITHER of the terms.  OR is most      often used to combine synonyms or like terms.
      Example:  hyperactivity AND children or adolescents

3.  Use NOT to exclude a term. Records with the first term will be retrieved, but any records with the      second term will be eliminated.
     Example:  eating disorders NOT bulimia

 

   

 

Nesting

Nesting is using parentheses ( ) to insure that Boolean operations are performed in the sequence you intend. Nesting synonyms can broaden your search. Nesting is typically used when you have only one search box.

Example:

nesting

will retrieve both of the following:        Smoking is on the rise in teenagers            Adolescents  turn to smoking to relieve stress