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Most search automatically look for all the keywords you enter. But they don't have to be in any particular order, or next to each other.
But what if you really need to find a phrase--multiple words that mean something specific when you put them together?
Generally, put your keywords inside quotation marks to search for them as an exact phrase: those words, in that order, next to each other.
Examples of phrase searching:
"obsessive compulsive disorder"
How do keyword searches work? There are three basic operations, involving Boolean logic. Boolean operators to tell the computer whether you want to:
Today, most databases automatically search for all the keywords you typed (AND), because it's the most common and useful way to narrow a search.
But you may still encounter some advanced search forms that require you to use Boolean operators. Advanced search forms usually will display a choice of operators, so that you can see them at work.
Practiced searchers can also construct their own Boolean search statements. Remember that they are mathematical statements, not normal sentences, and have special syntax rules. If you combine AND and OR in a search, you must put parentheses around the OR terms.
(smoking or cigarettes or tobacco) and (teens or adolescents) and legislation
What if you need to find multiple forms of the same word? For example:
To do this use truncation, also known as stemming or wildcarding.
Truncation uses a symbol, usually an asterisk (*), to substitute for all the letters that might follow a word stem.
finds all the word forms above.
You can combine Boolean operators, phrase searches, and trucation, but you must very precise with the syntax and punctuation!
Here's an example:
(drink* or alcohol) and (teen* or adolescents) and "academic achievement"
Here’s a visual example of how Boolean logic works:
The small shaded area is the result; results must have both terms.
Example: zoos and animal welfare
The shaded area now covers everything, because results can have either term.
Example: men or males
The shaded area is smaller again; only results that have X, but don't have Y.
Example: Titanic not movie