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Search Tips

Boolean Operators

  • Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. Boolean operators
  • OR, AND, +, NOT, and - are supported. Boolean operators must be in all capital letters.

"OR" Operator

  • The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist within a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets.
  • To search for documents containing either the phrase “right to vote” or the word
  • “suffrage” use the query: “right to vote” OR suffrage

"AND" Operator

  • The AND operator matches documents in which both terms exist anywhere in the text or metadata fields of a single document. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.

Boolean Operators, continued

  • To search for documents with the title field containing the phrase “real property” and author/creator field containing “Rheinstein” use the query: title: “real property” AND creator: Rheinstein

"+" Operator

  • The + (or required) operator dictates that the term after the + symbol MUST exist somewhere in a single document.
  • To search for documents that must contain “watershed” and may contain “planning” use the query: + watershed planning

"NOT" Operator

  • The NOT operator excludes documents which contain the term after NOT. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.
  • To search for documents which contain “real property” but not residential, use the query: “real property” NOT residential

"-" Operator

  • The - (or prohibit) operator excludes documents which contain the term after the - symbol.
  • To search for documents which contain “watershed planning” but not “watershed system” use the query: “watershed planning” - “watershed system”

Term Modifiers

  • These provide the ability to modify query terms to allow for a wide range of searching options.
  • Wildcard searches: single and multiple-character wildcard searches are supported
  • Use the ? symbol to perform a single-character wildcard search
  • Use the * symbol to perform a multiple-character wildcard search
  • The single-character wildcard search looks for terms matching the single character placed.
  • The multiple-character wildcard search looks for zero or more characters.
  • To search for “test”, “tests” or “tester” use the search: test*
  • You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term: te*t
  • You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search term

NOTE: The current syntax does not support the use of a proximity search and a wildcard search in the same search string. That means you cannot do “consumer product* safety standards”~15.