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Ohio University Libraries

Opioid Crisis Research

This guide is designed to inform you about the Opioid Crisis and provide research resources specific to the topic.

When searching a database there are terms that can be used to achieve broader results or less but very specific results. Below are different search terms and how they will effect the results. 

Using AND/OR/NOT in searches (AKA Boolean)

The words AND/OR/NOT (sometimes called Boolean) can be used to group sets of search terms together in a meaningful way; which will improve the quality of your search results because you are customizing the results to suit your specific needs/topic.

AND

Use AND to reduce the number of items found by letting the database "know" that these two concepts (safety and water) must be together.  For example: this search on water AND safety in ArticlesPlus finds fewer items than either water or safety alone. Plus, the true context of your topic is not represented.
Use AND between two concepts to glue the ideas together, thus minimizing your results.

OR

Use OR to combine synonymous or alternate terms and increase the number of results. For example: the search water AND safety AND (Ohio OR West Virginia) in ArticlesPlus finds less items than before, but more than searching either water AND safety AND Ohio or water AND safety AND West Virginia. 
using OR to expand your search to use synonyms- ohio OR west virginia

NOT

Use NOT to exclude a specific concept from your results. For example: this search on water AND safety AND (Ohio OR West Virginia) NOT lead in ArticlesPlus finds less items because it is excluding any results with the word "lead". In other words, I want materials about water safety in two states that are not about lead.
NOT eliminates a concept from your results

More AND/OR/NOT Info & Examples

Using "AND" in your search means that your results will have all of the search terms. Some examples are: Opioids AND Treatment ; Opioids AND College Students. This will reduce the results but will give move specific ones based on your search. 

Using "OR" in your search means that your results will have any of the search terms. Some examples are Treatment OR Rehabilitation ; Athens, Ohio OR Appalachia. This will increase the results and they will be very broad. 

Using "NOT" in your search will take out a word or concept from the results. An example if you wanted information about illegal opioids in Appalachia and not about prescription opioids : Appalachia AND Opioids NOT Prescription. 

Using Quotation Marks, Asterisk, and Brackets in your Search

Using Quotation Marks (" ") in your search will search the words in the exact order they are written. An example is "prescription opioid overdoses".

Using an asterisk mark (*) will search for everything containing the letters in your search. This is good to use if you are not sure of a word spelling, if I wasn't sure how to spell opioid I could search *opio and still get some opioid results. 

Using Brackets ([ ]) in your search allows for you to broaden your search. For example if I wanted information on opioids and either addiction, dependency, or both I would set it up like this: [addiction OR dependency] opioid.