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Boolean and Wildcard Searching


The Boolean operators 'OR', 'NOT', '-', and '+' may be used in your query. Using 'AND' is not necessary as IndexCat™ combines terms with an ‘AND’ by default.

The asterisk ‘*’ and ‘?’ can be used as wildcard characters.

Boolean Term

Description

OR

Use ‘OR’ when you only need at least one of the search words to appear in the results. Example: “surgery OR operation”

NOT or -

Use ‘NOT’ or ‘-’ when you do not want a particular term to appear in the results. Examples: “heart attack NOT defects” or “heart attack -defects”

*

Use ‘*’ as a wildcard to search on all words that contain the letters you enter. You must enter a minimum of three letters plus the ‘*’ character. Example: “cough*” would find “cough” and “coughs” and “coughing”

+

Use ‘+’ when you require the word to appear in the search results exactly as it was entered.  For multiple words, you must use put a + sign in front of the word that must occur in your search result. Example: search on “+knee surgery” if you only want to retrieve results related to “surgery” of the “knee” and no results with surgery of the “shoulder”.

?

Use ‘?’ as a wildcard to represent exactly one character in a word. You must enter a minimum of three letters plus the ‘?’ character. Example: “wom?n” would find “woman” and “women”.

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