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English Graduate Orientation

Constructing Boolean Search Statements

Boolean Search Operators - Boolean search operators are both words and symbols that tell a database exactly how you want to search for your keywords. 

AND – Use between words when you want both of them to appear in the same article

OR – Use between words when they are interchangeable, AKA synonyms or related terms. 

NOT – Use to eliminate a particular word from your search result.  Use this one sparingly because it can often remove relevant results accidentally.  For example:  United States NOT China

Parenthesis () – Use around multiple keywords that are combined with OR to indicate a group that is interchangeable.  For example: (computerization OR automation)

Quotations “” – Use around words that must appear together in order to make a recognizable phrase.  For example: “skilled labor”

Asterisk * - Use to get multiple endings of a word.  Chop off the ending of your original word to get other variations.  Remove the “ion” from automation and add the asterisk to get both automation and automate. For example: automat*


Manufacturing AND Automation

“Skilled Labor” AND (computerize* OR automat*)

“Universal Basic Income” AND (“United States” OR US) AND (Computerization OR Automation)