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Health Science

This guide incorporates health information available in the library and online.

Database Search Tips

Boolean Logic

For better search results, try Boolean Operators!

AND connects terms and narrows the search
OR  expands the search (finds either term)
NOT excludes terms and narrows your search

For example:

  • exercise AND nutrition
  • running AND fatigue
  • movement OR motion
  • "body image" OR "self esteem"
  • exercise NOT running 

Phrase Searching

Phrase searching narrows your search results to include the exact phrase you are searching for - two or more words in precise order. Phrase searching is also handy when searching on specific titles or quotes especially when searching the open web or when trying to locate a full-text article.

For example:

"physical activity"

"range of motion"


Truncation will broaden your search and look for variations of a root word. For example:

Searching on stretch* will search for the root word stretch and all extensions of the word including:

  • stretches
  • stretching


Nesting will broaden your search and is most commonly used between synonyms. Use nesting to organize your search strategy as follows:

(exercise OR "physical activity") AND ("High blood pressure" OR hypertension)

Boolean Operators Explained