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Mathematics

A research guide to introduce you to resources in the field of Mathematics. You'll find the materials, search tools, and other resources you need to start your research. If you need any assistance, please contact your librarian.

Subject-Specific Databases

Interdisciplinary Databases

Boolean Logic and Other Tools for Better Searching

 

Infographic illustrating how different Boolean operators function.

 

Boolean operators:

  • OR: use OR to get a wide pool of results, where the results could have either keyword a or keyword b. Example:
    • axiom OR postulate. I will accept either keyword in my results.
  • AND: use AND to get a smaller, more targeted pool of results, where the results must have both keyword a and keyword b.
    • geometry AND group theory. Pretty simple! AND is the default operator that most search engines and databases use if you don't specify an operator (if I just typed in geometry group theory, the search would be the same).
  • NOT: use NOT to remove results with a specific undesired keyword from your pool, where you want keyword a but not keyword b. Example:
    • algebra NOT linear. This search will bring you all of the results that have "algebra" in them, except for the ones that also have "linear" in them.

Other search operators:

  • Wildcard: the asterisk * when included at the end of a string of letters, will bring you back every possible ending of the word:
    • geometr*: brings you back geometry, geometries, geometrical, geometric, etc. Important: this tool is deceptively simple, and only works with the string of letters you gave it. It won't find you synonyms.
  • Quote search: put quotes around a phrase or the title of a book/article/conference paper/etc to only get results with the specific words in the order you typed them. Make sure to check your spelling when you use quote search!
    • "ring theory": this is a good phrase to use quotes with because both ring and theory are very common words; without the quotes the system may bring you back results that include those two words but not in that order (i.e. irrelevant).
  • Brackets, or nesting: used as part of the search phrase. This tool really capitalizes on the math-y-ness inherent in database searching, and can help you to write a fairly complex search.
    • (differential OR integral) AND calculus. In this search, we'll accept either differential calculus, OR integral calculus.
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