Performing a Search

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To increase the chances of locating a search term or phrase, follow the guidelines below:

Keyboard Action
Example
use "quotation marks" around phrases
banana pear "apple pie"
add + in front of any word or phrase to require it
apple pie" -salad +"ice cream"
add - in front of any word or phrase to exclude it
apple pie" -salad +"ice cream"

Special Characters and Boolean Terms

Typing these special characters will modify results.

Special Character
Result
?
matches any single character
Example: appl?
matches apply or apple
*
matches any number of characters
Example: appl*ion
matches application
~~
indicates numeric range
Example: 14~~18
looks for 14, 15, 16, 17 or 18

Boolean terms find group of words or phrases linked by and, or, not, w/.

Search Request
Meaning
apple and pear
both words must be present
apple or pear
either word can be present
apple w/5 pear
apple must occur within 5 words of pear
apple not w/5 pear
apple must occur, but not within 5 words of pear
apple and not pear
only apple must be present
name contains smith
the field name must contain smith
apple w/5 xfirstword
apple must occur in the first five words
apple w/5 xlastword
apple must occur in the last five words

Connectors

Search excludes Boolean structural connector words from the search operator which include and, or, not. To search for a phrase that contains one of the connector words – such as the phrase not relevant:

Quote a connector word or the phrase it is in (“not relevant”), or put a tilde after the connector.

Examples:

  • "clear and convincing evidence"
  • not~relevant
  • "to be or not to be"

If you use more than one connector, you should use parentheses to indicate precisely what you want to search for.

For example, apple and pear or orange juice could mean

  • (apple and pear) or orange, or
  • apple and (pear or orange)