Library:Searching in databases/Combining Keywords

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Combining keywords

Many databases open to an advanced search screen showing two or more empty search boxes. To begin searching, type in keywords which represent your ideas - one idea per search box.


AND - links search terms together:

AND links concepts together

OR - allows you to work synonyms into your search:

OR= synonyms

NOT - eliminates results which contain specific words. **Note, this can have unpredictable results so you should only use NOT when you need to use keywords which have multiple meanings/uses:

  • Pancake NOT makeup
  • Grizzlies NOT hockey
    • most databases have a NOT option in the AND drop-down menu.
NOT in drop-down menu
  • Google search has a similar function but you will have to use the dash symbol rather than typing out the word NOT. Type: Grizzlies -hockey