In order to construct your Keyword searches, you will be using Boolean Operators - which are the words AND, OR, and NOT.
- The operator AND limits your result set. If you search for Maps AND Ohio, you will retrieve a set of records - each of which must contain the word Maps and the word Ohio.
- The operator OR broadens your search and gives you a larger result set. If you search for ((Maps OR Surveys) and Ohio), you will retrieve a set of records - each of which will have the word Ohio occurring somewhere in it and each of which will have either the word Maps or the word Surveys occurring somewhere in it.
- The operator NOT limits your result so that you get fewer results. It excludes records containing a certain term or phrase from your result set so that you will get fewer irrelevant results. For instance, if you search for Atlas and Texas, you may find records that describe geographic atlases - but you may also find lots of records that describe the atlas missile. To get rid of these irrelevant records, exclude them from the search - ((Atlas NOT Missile) and Texas).
Searching for different forms of the same word will also be necessary. This is done with a symbol. For CONSORT, this symbol is *. To find a guidebook, you need to find records that include either the phrase (Guidebooks) or the phrase (Guidebook). The truncation symbol allows you to say (Guidebook*) and Ohio, and records with both forms of the word will be retrieved.
are used whenever you want to make sure the database sees two or more words as a linked phrase or concept. You want to find records containing the phrase "Guide Book", not records that may have Guide in one place and Book in another – like the title, A Guide to Writing a Book.