Boolean logic is the fancy language databases use to search. Boolean operators connect your keywords together.
The three basic boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.
AND links together distinct concepts in your topic. It tells the database that all the search terms must be present in the results.
Memory aid: AND does not expand - it's going to narrow your search results.
OR links together related concepts or synonyms. This tells the database that any or all search terms can be present in the results.
Memory aid: OR is more - it's going to broaden your search results.
NOT is used to exclude certain words or phrases from a search.
Note that using this operator runs the risk of excluding relevant results from your search - so use it sparingly!
If you get too many results, many databases have a "Refine Results" column or "Limits" section to help you narrow your search.
Explore narrowing results by publication date (for more current articles), methodology (empirical studies), publication type (peer-reviewed journals), and document type (journal article) to help focus your search.
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