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Google & Google Scholar: Boolean Operators

Google is a powerful search engine that offers quick and easy web searching. Use the tips and tricks provided in this guide to get the most your of your Google search.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words or symbols used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search. Using these operators, you are able to focus your search on the results that will be most helpful. Google also has a few additional operators that work to refine results.

Below are common boolean operators that work when searching within Google and Google Scholar, as well as an example of each.

Boolean Operators Example
Limit results
Vegetarianism AND obesity
(Search for content that contains both vegetarianism and obesity.)
One term OR another
Scholarly OR academic
(Search for content that contains scholarly OR academic.)
Exclude a term from the search
Bears -Chicago
(Limits results to only those with bears and not the term Chicago.)
Exclude a website from the search
(Limits results to results other than Wikipedia.)
Synonyms of term
(Search for the term academic and its synonyms.)
“ “
Exact phrase
“sleep deprivation”
(Search for the phrase sleep deprivation.)


Search for specific words in a specific number of words in your phrase.

sleep AROUND (5) anxiety

(search for the word sleep within five words of the word anxiety)


Search for a specific word or phrase in the title. 


(Search for sleep in the title) 


Search for a specific word or phrase in the text. 


(Search for sleep in the text) 


Search for a specific word or phrase in the source. This is an excellent way to search for a specific publication


(Search for term in the source) 

Tools & Websites

For more information regarding boolean operators and how to use them, please visit the following Internet resources: