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Boolean Operators help to narrow or broaden your search. The most useful Boolean operators to connect your searches are AND, OR, NOT.
AND finds records containing both terms. This narrows the search. For example:
- teachers AND students
- female AND male
OR finds records containing either one or both terms. This broadens the search. It can also be used to account for variant spellings. For example:
- students OR learners
- education OR pedagogy
NOT finds records containing the first term, but not the second term. This narrows the search. For example:
- students NOT elementary
- males NOT adolescent
You can use more than one Boolean operator in the same search.
- technology AND elementary NOT iPad
Some of this information is from https://research.lib.buffalo.edu/research-tips/searchstrategy.
Truncation allows you to search various word endings simultaneously.
To use the truncation symbol enter the root of a word a and place the symbol at the end of the word.
Example 1: child* will retrieve child, childs, children, childrens, childhood
Example 2: comput* will retrieve computer and computing
Refine/Limit Your Search
When searching in databases, refine your search depending on your research need. When you do this, you will get fewer results but they will be more closely related to your topic.
In this example in the Education Research Complete database, I have refined my search results to show only articles that have been peer reviewed and published in the last 5 years.