Use Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow you to combine terms using AND, OR, or NOT in Quick and Expert searches.

Boolean operators in Quick search

In Quick search, terms are searched in the order of entry. Thus, terms entered within the first (default) box are searched first, and terms entered into any successive search field boxes are added to the query.

Boolean operators in Expert search

If you need to combine more terms within your search, use Expert search or, alternately, use the Combine previous searches feature in Search history.

In Expert search, the search terms are linked using Boolean operators and searched from left to right.


Gilbert, Barrie wn AU AND Analog Devices wn AF

"Rapid transit" wn ALL or "light rail" wn ALL and signals wn TI 

To broaden a search, combine terms using OR (results contain any specified term).


"rapid transit" OR "light rail" OR subways

To narrow the scope of a search, combine terms using AND (results contain all specified terms).


prosthetics AND biocontrol

To eliminate terms from a search, use the NOT operator. A search for mining might be done as follows:


(mines or mining) wn ky NOT "data mining" wn ky

In Expert search, you can use parentheses to specify the order of operation. Terms and operators within the parenthesis are executed before terms and operations outside the parenthesis. Multiple parentheses can be used.



(International Space Station OR Mir) AND gravitational effects AND (French wn LA OR German wn LA OR English wn LA)

Results from this search will contain either International Space Station OR MIR, plus all the records will contain gravitational effects. All of the results will be in French, German, or English.

If you do not use parentheses to specify the order of operation, then the operations will be performed from left to right.


Remember that if you enter a phrase without double quotation marks, braces, or parentheses, AND is assumed.


Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Elsevier Properties S.A. Terms and Conditions