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History of Medicine

FAQ:
IndexCat™ -- Wildcards and Boolean Searches


Question: Is wildcard and Boolean searching allowed?


Answer:

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.

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&rdquo

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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http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/icboolean.html