Boolean Operators are short words used to combine search terms in logical operations. Most databases, discovery layers and search engines recognize them and use them to to bring search results that fulfill the requested operations.The most common are AND, OR and NOT. They are written in capitals to differentiate them from regular keywords.
Check the image below to understand how each of them affects the results of your searches. Parenthesis are used to combine different sets of instructions and to signal the order in which they should happen.
Ask yourself what type of source is more likely to have the information you need and how will I use this source?:
Deciding the most likely source will help determine which database to use. Different databases are composed of information from different types of sources. BEAM is a method for helping you decide how you might use a source.
Ask yourself if the database you select provides full-text, or only citations and /or abstracts:
Understand the scope of the database you select. Ask yourself:
Although retrospective materials are sometimes added to databases, the actual article you need might not be available electronically, because it is too old or too new.
Ask yourself if there are special advanced features that can improve your search results or make searching easier: