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HP 5379 (research methods)

How do I use Boolean?

a picture showing how boolean operators workWhen designing your search, it is important to understand and utilize Boolean operators. Boolean operators help form relationships among words.  The operators are AND, OR, NOT.

  • Words connected with AND require both terms to be in the results (teens AND eating disorders)
  • Words connected with OR will return results with either or both term in the results - best used for synonyms (teens OR adolescents OR teenagers)
  • Words connected with NOT return results without the word after the NOT (teens AND eating disorders NOT women)

Most of the resources you'll use will assume an AND between words if you don't supply an operator (Internet search engines do this, which is one of the reasons why you get so many results). 

Search Demonstration

Navigate to Medline via the library databases list and put these skills to the test!

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