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Geography Resources: Search Tips

AND Boolean Operator


Venn Diagramm: Boys AND China

A search for Boys AND China will give you results containing BOTH words.

Use AND to narrow or focus your results.

OR Boolean Operator

Venn Diagram: Heart OR Cardio

A search for heart OR cardio* will give you results containing EITHER word.

Use OR for synonyms or closely related words.

COMBINING AND and OR operators

(Migration OR Mobil*)  AND  ("Urban sprawl" OR Surburb* OR Urbanization)

...will give you articles/books on migration of people in relation to urban sprawl.


Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include: author, title, journal title, abstract, date/year of publication, subject/descriptor, etc.

Limiting your search to specific database fields can yield more precise results.




MERLIN and many other databases use the * symbol to indicate truncation.

Encroach*  will search for:

  • Encroached
  • Encroaches
  • Encroaching
  • Encroachment