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Combining Searches

Boolean Logic

Boolean logic is used to combine key elements of your search statement in a variety of ways.  The Boolean commands or "operators" AND, OR, and NOT are used to narrow, expand, and exclude items in a search statement.

Use an AND statement with a very specific topic.  Use of the AND operator will reduce the number of items returned.  e.g.  Population AND Control will return only items containing both "Population" and "Control".    

Use an OR statement when the topic might be described in a number of different ways.  Use of the OR operator will enlarge the number of items returned.  e.g. Population OR Populated will return all items containing either "Population" or "Populated". 

Use a NOT statement when the topic is related to a non-desired topic.  Use of the NOT operator will eliminate items containing the term following the operator.  e.g. Population NOT Student will return all items containing "Population" except for those items containing "Student".

Use truncation when the system permits it, as in forest* (for forest, forests, forestry, etc.)


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Last Updated: 24-Jun-2013 | Questions or comments to