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CESP 858 Research, Assessment and Program Evaluation

This guide is for the class CESP 858: Research, Assessment and Program Evaluation

Boolean operators & modifiers

Boolean operators 

Boolean searching is a great way to limit, widen and/or redefine your search. Therefore, it’s a great search method for complex research topics. AND/OR/NOT are known as Boolean operators and they’re used to define the relationship between your search terms.

  • “and” will narrow your results
  • “or” will expand your results
  • “not” will exclude terms from your results

Search precedence

Databases are programmed to prioritize Boolean Operators.  This is often called "search precedence "and it influences how your search is performed. For instance, most databases give AND precedence over OR, meaning terms linked with AND will be searched before those linked with OR, no matter the order they appear in your search. 

Boolean modifier- quotation marks

When quotation marks are used around a phrase (with 2 or more words), it ensures that the phrase will be searched for as a whole and the words won’t be searched separately in the database.

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