Nesting or Parentheses
- An alternative to a database's Advanced Search
- Allows you to construct complex searches combining AND, OR, NOT by grouping search terms appropriately
(Teenagers OR Juveniles) AND Violence
- Expands the search to locate all words beginning with the same root
- Symbol to truncate is usually an asterisk (*)
- Example: teen* will return teen, teens, teenage, teenager, etc.)
- Useful to include any variants authors might use to describe their research
- Not all words can effectively be truncated
- Example: Trying to truncate woman as wom* will return wombat, womb, as well as woman and women.
- Used in the middle of a word to match usually known variants of a term.
- A wildcard usually represents a single character
- Symbol to represent the single character is usually a question mark (?) but this can vary by database.
- Example: wom?n will return woman, women, and womyn.
Note: The following search tools involve using various symbols. These symbols change depending on the database's vendor/interface you're dealing with, and the symbols may change over time within one of these vendors/interfaces. If you have any questions about what symbols are used in a database, check its "Help" section.
Do you have any further questions about Boolean Operators and other database tips and tricks? Chat with a Reference Librarian!