The AND operator will
The OR operator will
The NOT operator will
Use this operator with caution as it may eliminate relevant results. For example, if a search on substance abuse includes "NOT alcohol" and, an author states that, "this paper will not discuss alcohol abuse", the paper may be eliminated from the search results. It includes the word alcohol but discusses the abuse of other substances.
It is a good idea to enter your key terms and synonyms into a simple table.
Consider the research topic "In Western Australia, adolescents have not got the message, drugs, other than alcohol, and driving do not mix."
|Key terms||drugs||driving||adolescents||"western australia"||alcohol|
|Synonym||"prohibited substance*"||teenagers||"western australian"||liquor|
Join each of the terms in a column with the OR operator. Add parentheses to make sure that these operators are processed first.
(drugs OR "prohibited substance*")
(adolescents OR teenagers OR youth)
("western australia" OR "western australian OR WA)
(alcohol OR liquor)
Finally, join each of the columns with AND or NOT operators
(drugs OR "prohibited substance*") AND driving AND (adolescents OR teenagers OR youth) AND ("western australia" OR "western australian OR WA) NOT (alcohol OR liquor)