Combining search terms – Boolean operators
Most search engines and databases support the use of Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT. Usually these should be written in capital letters.
AND retrieves documents containing both terms.
OR retrieves documents containing either term.
NOT excludes the retrieval of terms from your search.
You can group your search terms in parentheses to perform more advanced searches. A good way to structure you search is to think of the key concepts of your paper, and think of synonyms for each of these concepts. Group the synonyms in parentheses combined with the search operator OR, and then combine these groups with the search operator AND.
(congenital OR neonatal) AND Malaria AND Africa
Don’t forget to keep records of the keywords you used and the sources you consulted as well as references of all the items you are going to use.
Learn how to keep track on your search strategies on the next page.