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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.

 

AND
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

OR
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)

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