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Search techniques



The table below shows the most important search techniques with examples. They can help you find your material and you can get very accurate search results by using the operators.

Note that the search system automatically inserts AND between search words.


woolf modernism or
woolf AND modernism
Returns everything in which the words “woolf” and “modernism” occur.
NOT and -
woolf -modernism or
woolf NOT modernism
Returns everything with the word “woolf” except cases where the word “modernism” also occurs. You should therefore use a minus sign to exclude things from your searches.
modern* Returns everything in which the words “modern”, “a modern” or “the modern” occur. You can therefore truncate several characters by using an asterisk.
urbani?ation Returns results with the spelling urbanisation as well as urbanization. The question mark therefore masks exactly one character.
"the lonely man" Returns only results in which the words occur in the stated order one after the other. By using quotation marks, you can therefore get the search engine to consider your words as a phrase.
or AIDS || HIV
Returns items that include at least one of the words (AIDS or HIV)

The following is an example of a very long and complex search that illustrates the option of using a combination of brackets, truncation and Boolean operators.

(AIDS* OR (HIV*) OR Acquired immune deficiency syndrome* OR Human deficiency virus*) AND 200?

This returns items containing one or more different terms for “HIV” provided the year of publication falls between 2000 and 2009.

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