Web Search Techniques

Searching Techniques or Boolean Searching

Advanced Search Strategy Techniques (PDF)

  • AND (+) Using AND or + tells the computer to search for both terms in an article, example: bread AND butter. Many databases will automatically assume an AND search if two words are entered without any other instructions.
  • OR Using OR tells the computer the search term has a synonym or synonyms to retrieve, example: dog OR canine.
  • NOT (-) Using NOT or - tells the computer to cut out some information. Usually this is used to cut out one or two false hit terms that appear in a search, example: rock NOT music. It may be better to change your search method and use the word AND instead of NOT because NOT will greatly restrict your search.
  • " " Using quotation marks around words tells the computer to keep the words together and in the order they are typed, example: "chicken noodle soup".
  • ( ) Putting parenthesis around a word or phrase tells the computer in which order to perform a search, example: Hemingway AND (hunting AND fishing).