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Searching made easy with AND, OR and NOT

You are here because you want to learn how to get better results from your search.

Using AND, OR and NOT will help you.

AND, OR and NOT are called Boolean operators and almost all databases, catalogues and search engines understand them as search commands; it is how the Advanced Search option is structured.


Before you start searching you need to make a list of all of your possible key words.

If your assessment task asks you 

How has climate change impacted Australia 


("climate change" OR "global warming" OR "climate crisis" OR "temperature change")


(impact OR consequence OR ramification OR effect OR outcome OR influence)




Your search would look like this


You can write it in the Basic Search box like this

(impact OR consequences OR ramification) AND ("Climate change" OR "Global warming" OR "Climate crisis") AND Australia


Using NOT

NOT is used sparingly. 

If you find your results littered with irrelevant articles and you can identify a keyword that is common to the irrelevant articles, use it with a NOT in your search.