Using Boolean and Proximity Connectors in your search

The Boolean search method allows you to type search expressions using the Boolean connectors AND, OR, and NOT and the proximity connectors W/n, F/n, P/n, W/sen, and W/par. These connectors indicate the relationship that two or more terms in the search expression must have in a document in order for the document to be included in your search results. To use Boolean connectors, simply type your search expression using the Boolean connector that fits your specific search criteria between the terms of your search expression.

Here is a list of Boolean and proximity connectors with a description of what each retrieves:

AND — Placing the word AND between terms retrieves documents that contain both of the terms.

For example,gasoline and oil retrieves documents that contain gasoline and oil.

OR — Placing the word OR between terms will retrieve documents that contain either or both of the terms. This is useful for entering synonyms or alternative terms like child or dependent.

For example, gasoline or oil retrieves documents that contain either term or both terms.

NOT — Placing the word NOT between terms retrieves documents that contain the first terms only if the second term does not appear. This connector is useful when your keyword often appears in a context that is irrelevant to your research.

For example, if you want to find documents concerning RICO litigation, the search expression RICO not Puerto excludes documents in which RICO occurs as a part of Puerto Rico.

W/n — Placing w/n between terms retrieves documents in which the first term appears within the specified number of words as the second term (where n equals the number of words between terms).

For example, gasoline w/25 oil retrieves documents that contain the words gasoline and oil when they appear within 25 words of each other.

Note: The value of n cannot exceed 127 words.

W/sen — Placing w/sen between terms retrieves documents that contain the first terms within 20 words of the second terms.

For example, "home office" AND deduction w/sen expenses retrieves home office AND deduction within 20 words of expenses. Similarly, you can type in "home office" OR deduction w/sen expenses to retrieve home office OR deduction within 20 words of expenses.

Note: You can combine the boolean connectors and & or between two terms while using the w/sen connector. For example, you could modify the previous example to search for "home office"AND deduction w/sen expenses or modify it to search for "home office" OR deduction w/sen expenses. Remember to use quotation marks around phrases if you are searching for an exact phrase in combination with other search terms.
Tip: If you place parentheses around a Boolean or a proximity connector in your search expression, you will receive an error message when you perform your search.

For example, "home office" (AND) deduction will show a syntax error message.

Try removing the parentheses from your search expression or try executing two different searches instead.

W/par — Placing w/par between terms retrieves documents that contain the first terms within 80 words of the second terms.

For example:
Note: You can combine the boolean connectors and & or between two terms while using the w/par connector. For example, you could modify the previous example to search for "home office"AND deduction w/par expenses or modify it to search for "home office" OR deduction w/par expenses. Remember to use quotation marks around phrases if you are searching for an exact phrase in combination with other search terms.

F/n — Placing f/n between terms retrieves documents in which the first term follows the second term by no more than n words.

For example, credit f/2 foreign retrieves documents containing both the words credit and foreign in which the word credit follows the word foreign by no more than two words (i.e., n = 2 in the example).

P/n — Placing p/n between terms retrieves documents in which the first term precedes the second term by no more than n words.

For example, foreign p/2 credit retrieves documents containing both the words credit and foreign in which the word foreign precedes the word credit by no more than two words (i.e., n = 2 in the example).

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