Boolean Operators / Adjacency Operators
Use Boolean operators and adjacency operators to search with greater precision by including or excluding search terms.
- OR specifies that either one or the other of the search terms should be included. It is good to use for synonyms, and usually increases search results.
- Example: "cancer OR neoplasms" retrieves pages that contain either of these terms.
- AND specifics that both terms must be included. It usually narrows your search results.
- Example: "cancer AND treatment" retrieves documents that contain both terms.
- NOT excludes terms.
- Example: "cancer AND NOT astrology" will retrieve articles about cancer but exclude those about the astrological sign.
- NEAR specifies that terms be close to each other. The number of words allowed between the terms varies in different engines.
- Example: "cancer NEAR lung" would find "lung cancer" or "cancer of the lung"
These Boolean operators and adjacency operators can be combined:
- Example: "(cancer OR neoplasm) NEAR lung"
Content Editor: Nancy Bellafante
Last Updated: 11/27/2012