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Boolean operators connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your results.
The three basic Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT.
Why use Boolean operators?
Australian illicit drug guide [title] AND Campbell [author] AND 2001 [year]
Use AND in a search to:
The triangle in the middle of the Venn diagram below represents the result set for this search. It is a small set using AND, the combination of all three search words.
Be careful with AND searches. The way this search is configured, ADF SEARCH will bring up results for any article with any of these words in the title or keywords. Put any exact phrases you need in ‘quotation marks’ to make your search more precise.
‘Alcohol adverting’ AND sport should bring you results in the order you want.
Use OR in a search to:
All three circles represent the result set for this search. It is a big set because any of those words are valid using the OR operator.
Use NOT in a search to:
Want to look for material on cannabis and cannabinoids? Use the * wildcard to tell the library this.
Cannabi* would filter in articles about cannabis along with articles about cannabinoid compounds, as well as cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Wildcards are also a useful way to get around Australian vs US spelling issues. Behav* will search on both ‘behaviour’ and ‘behavior’.
In ADF SEARCH, you can use filters to narrow down your results.