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SOWK 7370 - Research Methods


 AND will allow search terms to be combined so that all results include all search terms in the strategy.

  • children and abuse - All articles will include the words "children" and "abuse" some place in the citation or text of the article
  • nurses and homecare - All articles will discuss the concept of nurses and homecare


OR allows searching with synonyms or multiple words at one time.  All search results will include every word in the search statement.

  • clients or patients - This allows a search to refer to the people as clients or patients since the terms are related and different authors migth use one or the other
  • teenager or adolescent or youth - Again, different terms are used for the same concept and all three will be searched.


NOT and AND NOT allows a word or concept to be eliminated from all search results. It must be used carefully to be sure a relevant item is not dropped from the search results.

NOT and AND NOT do the same thing, but some databases require NOT and others require AND NOT.  Check the help file in the database if the choice is not obvious.

  • crimes NOT murder - The results will include articles on various crimes crimes, but none of them will address the specific crime of murder.
  • abuse AND NOT sexual - The results will include materials addressing abuse, but will not include any article that has the word "sexual" in it.

**  The NOT and AND NOT operations should be used with extreme caution. It is very easy to eliminate useful materials by  adding a NOT phrase because article frequently address more than one topic. **