Health Search Tips

Search Tips

Connectors (Boolean Operators)

  • AND: to connect terms that may be anywhere in a document.
  • OR: to find synonyms, alternative phrases
  • NOT: to omit specific word(s) in search phrase


  • to find terms that are in the same sentence
  • to find terms in the same paragraph
  • to find terms within "n" number of words of each other.
  • Proximity symbols vary across databases. They commonly include a slash (/). See specific database links below.


  • Use to retrieve singular/plural forms or variant endings of terms
  • Truncation symbols vary across databases. Most common is either the asterisk (*) or exclamation point (!). See specific database links below.

About This Guide

This guide is based on and adapted the Newspapers and News Sources LibGuide by Louise Klusek.