Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Counseling Orientation

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) when searching is one of the best ways to locate information in a library catalog, database, or search engine.  Boolean Operators show the relationship between words and/or phrases and allow you to narrow or expand your search.


Use the AND operator to string search terms together and narrow your results.  This works well with searches that are too general.
Example: marijuana AND medicinal use

Use the OR operator to broaden a search. If you are retrieving too few records, try adding synonyms or related terms to your search. OR is particularly useful when you are unsure of the words used to describe your topic.
Example: (marijuana OR cannabis OR cannabinoids)

Use the NOT operator to exclude terms.
Example: marijuana NOT substance abuse