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Online Searching: Principles & Specifics: Searching Principles

Searching Principles: The Big Three

1. Phrases: When you need to make sure that two or more words are adjacent to each other.

2. Boolean Operators / Connectors: Using words or symbols between your search terms to specify how those terms will be processed together. Includes AND, OR, and NOT.

  • AND finds only items that contain both of the search terms (limits results)
  • OR finds items that contain either one of the search terms (expands results)
  • NOT eliminates items that contain that term (limits results)

Example: zeppelin not led

 Use parentheses when combining connectors.

Example: (ethics or morals) and medicine

3. Wildcards / Truncation: Using a symbol to replace a letter or group of letters. Allows you to search for many variations of a word at one time.
Example: ethic*      finds ethic, ethics, ethical, and ethically

Applying the Principles