Skip to Main Content

CBE - Postgraduate and Research Support: Search Techniques

Welcome to the College of Business and Economics: We will use this guide to constantly give you relevant and recent resources and services that are available for CBE.

Boolean Operators

Search Operators (called Boolean Operators) allow you to fine-tune your search by using the operators ANDOR, and NOT to combine search terms to broaden or narrow your search. You should always type these operators in capital letters.

  • AND will combine the terms so that both or all terms must be in the results. This is a narrowing technique that makes your search more specific.
  • OR will combine the terms to that one or other (or both or all) of the terms will be in the results. This is a broadening technique that gets more results.
  • NOT will exclude results that contain a particular term. This is a narrowing technique. It's not used very often because it's probably better to search for what you do want rather than for what you don't want.

    Venn Diagrams showing the 3 types of search operators - AND, OR, and NOT




Keyword VS Phrase searches

Keyword searches are when multiple words entered together in the search box are searched for separately as keywords. With keywords search, imagine an invisible AND in between every word in the search box. If you want to search for a word (or words)  as a phrase you need to put it (or them) in double quotation marks (“      “)

For example:

If you enter, in the search box: Financial Investment You will get results that have Financial AND investment [not necessarily occurring together]
If you want to get results for Financial Investment as a phrase You will need to enter, in the search box: "Financial Investment"


Google Search Operators

Search operator Meaning Example
$ Search for a price Siberian husky $700
.. Search within a range of numbers camera $50..$100

Exclude word(s) from search

dog -corgi -husky
“” Exact phrase “Siberian Husky”
| Combine searches (works like Boolean operator OR) husky | corgi

Combine searches

(Put "OR" between each search query)

marathon OR race
site: Search in a specific domain or website corgi
"related:" Search for related sites
in Type in between units to convert 25 cm in feet
filetype: Search for a specific type of file corgi filetype:ppt
define: Search for the definition of a word define:canine
intext: Search for words in a webpage's body text intext:corgi
inurl: Search for web pages with a certain word in the URL inurl:corgi