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Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences: Boolean Search Guide

Guide to locating OT and Rehabilitation research evidence in books, journal articles, databases, and the web

Boolean: Driving and Mobile Phone

 

 

 

Boolean logic uses the operators AND, OR, and NOT to connect search terms when using catalogs, databases, or web searching. 

  • A simple search on: driving retrieves article citations containing that term.
  • A simple search on: driving AND mobile phone retrieves citations containing BOTH terms.
  • A search combining terms with AND and synonyms with OR is shown below, to answer the research question:

    Is there evidence that the use of a mobile phone while driving increases the incidence of accidents?.

 

BOOLEAN
OPERATOR    
SEARCH STATEMENT RETRIEVES  

AND

driving

AND

mobile phone

AND narrows your search results to citations with BOTH terms present. 

OR

mobile phone
OR
cell phone

OR
text messaging
 

OR broadens your results to include citations with EITHER/ANY of the terms present.

OR is used to string synonyms together.

Remember, OR retrieves MORE!

AND, OR 

driving

AND

(mobile phone
OR
cell phone

OR
text messaging)

 

This search locates citations with the word driving AND (ANY one of the terms combined with OR).

The area where all 3 circles overlap represents search results with all criteria.

 

 
NOT

driving

NOT

cycling

Retrieves citations with the term driving, but omits records with the term cycling

(Caution: the NOT operator should be used sparingly and carefully as it may omit citations relevant to a search.  For example, an article about cycling might also be relevant to driving.)

 

PubMed: Falls AND Exercise (2 min)