AND, OR, NOT allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.
Beethoven AND reception
piano OR klavier
Ludwig NOT Johann (Beethoven's father)
An important strategy to employ when searching phrasal concepts or conducting known-item searches for titles:
- For example, The Ruins of Athens will search for The AND Ruins AND of AND Athens.
- However, "The Ruins of Athens" in quotation marks will search for the Beethoven composition.
When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is helfpul to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.
- For example, Beethoven AND (Ludwig OR Louis).
- Many catalogs or databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search bars to facilitate nested searching.
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.
- For example, one could search for symphon* to find symphony, symphonies, symphonic, and so on.
- Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for mu??k would return musik (Ger), muzak, and so on.
- Combining the two, viol?n* would return violin, violinist, violon (Fr), violoniste (Fr), violino (It), and so on.