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ENGL 3997: Late-Victorian and Modern Drama

Reference sources

Boolean Operators and Modifiers

Searching in Academic Databases using Boolean Operators and Modifiers

Academic databases work most effectively when using AND, OR, and NOT or including "quotation marks" or asterisks * in your searching. The videos below do a wonderful job unpacking how these tools work.

Catalog search tips:

  • If you know exactly what book (journal, video, etc.) you are looking for, you can search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc.
  • To find items about a specific topic, first try a keyword search in All Fields.
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase: "The Thief and the Dogs".
  • Use * for truncation (to find variant spellings and endings of a word): parent* will find parent, parents, parental, parenthood, etc.; wom*n will find woman, women, womyn, etc.
  • For more complex search, use AND and OR (note that AND and OR must be in ALL CAPS for this to work correctly in CLIO):
    • AND finds records which have ALL the search terms you entered.
    • OR finds records which have one of the search terms you entered, as well as records which have more than one of the terms. OR finds MORE.
    • For more help with using AND and OR, check our guide to advanced/Boolean keyword searching.
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group terms:  Frankenstein* AND (parent* OR father*)

Slides