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Gender and Sexuality Studies

This guide provides an overview of gender and sexuality studies resources and materials available through NYU Libraries and beyond.

Using Boolean Operators

Getting Started With Boolean

Using Boolean operators -- AND, OR, NOT -- is a great way to further refine your searches.

Boolean Operator

Search Example

Retrieves

Venn Diagram

AND

  • A good way to limit/refine your search.
  • Decreases your results.
rivers AND salinity

Retrieves articles that contain both the words river and salinity.

Venn diagram with two intersecting circles for "rivers" and "salinity" where the intersecting piece is shaded blue.

OR

  • A good way to expand your search
  • Useful if you have synonyms that you would like to search for.
  • Increases your results.

fruit OR vegetables

 

Returns articles that contain either the word fruits or vegetables. Venn diagram with two intersecting circles with one representing "fruit" and the other representing "vegetables"; the entire diagram is shaded in blue.

NOT

  • A good way to limit your search
  • Allows you to exclude terms from your search results
fruit NOT apples Returns articles that contain the word fruits but do not contain the word apples. Venn diagram with two intersecting circles, one representing "fruit" and the other representing "apples"; only the section of the fruit circle not intersecting with the apples circle is shaded blue.

Advanced Boolean: Putting It All Together

In the above examples, we showed the use of boolean operators with 2 search terms; however, you can join any number of terms with boolean operators.

Parentheses!

In the examples below, you'll notice that we use parentheses to group search terms and operators.  The parentheses tell the search engine how to read your search statement.  Remember when you learned about order of operations in math and using parentheses? Same concept.

Search Example

Retrieves

Venn Diagram

Europe AND dairy products AND export Articles that contain all of the following words: dairy products, Europe, and export. Venn diagram with three intersecting circles labeled: "dairy products", "Europe", and "export" where the area they circles intersect is shaded blue.
canoeing AND (kayaking  OR sculling) Articles that contain the both of the words canoeing and sculling; also brings back articles that contain both of the words canoeing and kayaking. Venn diagram with three intersecting circles labeled with: "canoeing", "sculling", and "kayaking" where the area where canoeing & kayaking, sculling & canoeing, and all three intersect are shaded blue.
South America AND (puma OR panther) NOT Brazil Articles that contain the terms South America and Puma; articles that contain the terms South America and Panther.  Will not bring back articles with the term Brazil. Venn diagram with four intersecting circles labeled: "South America", "panther", "puma", and "Brazil" intersect.  The blue shaded parts represent the intersection of: South America & panther, South America & puma, and South America & puma & panther.