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Creating Search Statements

Search Statements containing AND, OR, NOT

To create search statements, combine your search terms with AND, OR, and NOT.

Using AND between words will narrow your search.

Example: computer science AND engineering. The database will find articles which contains both computer science as well as engineering in the same article.

Use OR between your search terms to expand your search. Computer science OR engineering will populate articles that contain either of the search terms. Use OR with synonyms or related words.

Use NOT to exclude terms you don’t want to populate in your search. Example: stock NOT merchandise


Example: wildlife AND (conservation or stewardship)

Nesting makes it possible to create an advanced search statement where in the example above the database will search for wildlife AND conservation OR wildlife AND stewardship. Notice how the word wildlife is applied to the other words in the parenthesis. It works just like algebra.


Adding the asterisk symbol to the end of a search term will search all forms of the root word. Example Child* = childhood, children, child’s, etc.

Quotation Marks

Surround your search terms with quotation marks to search for an exact phrase. Examples: “In God we Trust” or “climate change” or “social network.”