Introduction - Using AND, OR, NOT
Boolean searching is a way to combine the concepts in your topic so that you can search a journal database or other electronic resource.
You can combine your concepts in three ways. Each will result in a different set of search results:
AND: concept one AND concept two (inclusive)
OR: concept one OR concept two (inclusive)
NOT: concept one NOT concept two (exclusive)
These three words - AND, OR, NOT are called Boolean operators.
If your topic is teenage suicide your first step should be to break it down into its concepts:
Concept One: teenage
Concept Two: suicide
Since you want to find articles that contain both concepts you would use the AND operator.
teenage and suicide
If you were looking for information about teenagers or suicide, but not necessarily both, you would use OR.
teenagers or suicide
If you were looking for articles about teenagers, but not about suicide you would use NOT.
teenager not suicide
Your results would only have the word teenager in them. Any articles that had the word suicide in them would have been excluded from the results.
Use NOT sparingly.It is an exclusive operator and will eliminate articles from your search even if the word only appears once.
YOU CAN ELIMINATE VERY USEFUL ARTICLES WHEN YOU USE NOT!!!!!
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