LSU Libraries User Instruction
Searching Techniques and Strategies Tutorial

Boolean Searching - Combining Terms

You can get really fancy with your searching by combining different boolean connectors in different ways. For instance, here's what I use when I need to find a dictionary or encyclopedia of Greek mythology:

(dictionary or encyclopedia) and greek and mythology

This will pull up any record in the computer that has the words "Greek" and "mythology" and either "dictionary" or "encyclopedia" somewhere in it. When combining boolean terms, you usually need to enclose separate parts of the search in parentheses, which is called grouping, and a group of words connected by boolean terms inside parentheses is called a set.

Here's another example of a search for materials on depression and schizophrenia in children and adolescents, using AND to combine two sets:

(depression or schizophrenia) and (child or children or adolescent or young adult)

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