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When using the library's databases, you may need to use search terms called "boolean operators."
These boolean operators consist of "and" "or" and "not."
They tell the database how to search for your keywords or search terms.
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They allow you to focus your database search to find very specific results, and also allow you to easily broaden your search, or restrict it.
The "and" operator tells the database to return results that must have ALL of your search terms.
This may provide a smaller number of results.
For example, searching for chickens AND sheep will return only articles that have both chicken and sheep mentioned.
Using "or" will tell the database to search for articles that have at least ONE of your search terms.
This may provide a larger number of results.
For example, searching for chickens OR poultry OR fowl will return articles that contain ANY of those search terms.
Using "not" will tell the database to exclude any results that have the search term after "not" in them.
This allows you to eliminate unrelated or unwanted search terms from your results.
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For example, sheep NOT goats, or chickens NOT ducks. The database will eliminate any results about sheep that also mention goats, or chickens that also mention ducks.
If you have any questions regarding database searching, please contact a New Jersey State Library reference librarian at (609) 278-2640, ext. 103, or at
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