Search Basics - Boolean and Phrase Searching


Using Boolean Operators:

Boolean operators—AND, OR, NOT—can be added to search terms to refine results (but as noted above, the operators don't need to be capitalized. If no operator is added between multiple search terms, the AND operator is used automatically. Therefore TERM1 TERM2 by default gives results for  TERM1 and TERM2.

  • Enter a search term. Examples:
  • TERM1 and TERM2 (or TERM1 TERM2)
  • TERM1 or TERM2
  • TERM1 not TERM2
  • Results include:
  • all articles with all of the search terms, TERM1 as well as TERM2.
  • all articles with either of the search terms, TERM1 or TERM2 or both.
  • only articles without the excluded search term, articles with TERM1 that do not include TERM2.


Phrase Searching:

Use double quotation marks to define an exact phrase or phrases.

  1. Examples:
  1. "white house"
  2. "white house" and Taliban
  3. "white house" and "bill clinton"
  1. Results include:
  1. articles with white house together as a phrase but not a story with, for example, the phrases "white supremacist" and "state House"
  2. articles with white house as a phrase that also contain Taliban
  3. articles with white house as a phrase that also contain bill clinton as a phrase


Note: The Boolean operators OR and NOT can also be used between phrases. AND  is the default.


If there are stop words or Boolean operators within a phrase, encapsulated in quotes, they will not be ignored or treated as an operator.  Therefore, "state of the union" will return the exact phrase "state of the union" and it will not ignore stop words of or the.  Additional examples include: "love it or leave it," which will not treat the or as an operator, and return the exact phrase "love it or leave it."


Diacritical (accents):

If the title or description has words with diacriticals in it, the search will return results with or without the diacriticals displaying. For example, simon bolivar or simón bolívar or would get hits on simón bolívar.




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