EBSCO: Carrying Out A Boolean Search

Modified on Wed, 28 Jul 2021 at 03:24 PM

        How to carry out a 'boolean' search on EBSCO library platform.

What is a boolean search?

  • Definition: [a type of] search allowing users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be “hotel” AND “New York”. This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords. - Defined by Webopedia in Search Engines Category - https://www.webopedia.com/definitions/boolean-search/ 

Therefore, an example in a medical context could be looking at "ageing" and "medication", which will therefore produce search results of articles or resources pertaining to the combination of these two terms, enabling you to find an article that is more suitable for your specific terms or keywords.

Please find a step-by-step guide below:

1) Open up EBSCOhost after selecting your chosen database (such as Academic Search Premier chosen for this example) and ensure you select the 'Advanced Search' button beneath the search bar.

2) Once you have selected the 'Advanced Search' option, you will see that you have more outlets in the search engine to personalise your search as much as possible, whereby you can select two terms to combine, and across relevant files too such as 'Author' and 'Background'.

3) Underneath this, it is important to ensure that you have 'Boolean/Phrase' Search Mode selected, which will allow you to combine the two terms you will place in the search engine above

4) As a side note, you are able to have your search include several databases - such as the example below, which will ensure your Boolean search includes the databases: Academic Search Premier and Education Source

5) Below is an example of what two terms look like when they are combined in the search options. Remember, you are able to select more optional fields next to these terms - such as if you wanted to find a certain author, journal name, or review pertaining to those two terms.

6) After you press search, it is advisable to select the option 'FULL TEXT' on the left hand-side of the results, so that you are able to have results that allow you to easily download the PDF Document of the source, for example. 

Please find below an example of a result from a Boolean Search, with the terms of 'ageing' and 'medication':

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