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Searching Techniques: Getting Beyond the Keyword: Search Strategies

Learn how to refine your searches and use other advanced techniques to improve your results when looking for library resources.

Strategic Searching

Using Boolean Operators can be helpful in Search Strategies, because it allows you to narrow your searches or expand them based on the available information. There are 3 operators, AND, OR, & Not, which you can see below how they function in a search. Note, that using AND & NOT will narrow your search results, while using OR will widen the results. These can often be found utilizing the Advanced Search feature in Encore, and also applicable throughout your use of databases.

In the gifs below, you will see that Blue represents topic 1, yellow Topic 2, and green illustrates how to Boolean Operator works.

In example,  I'm writing a paper about the latest craze in making slime. I know that there are many ways to make slime, but I don't want to know about techniques that use Detergents. So I will do a search using "Slime" (topic one), the Boolean Operator NOT, and "detergent" (topic two).My results will yield records that do not refer to detergent.

Boolean AND


Boolean OR


Boolean NOT