Boolean Searches

“Search by description” allows the use of Boolean search options as follows. These should be inserted directly in front of a term (ie ‘+age’ and not ‘+ age’):

  • [no character] = OR
  • + = AND
  • –  = NOT
  • *  = wildcard (At the end of a string. Matches are based on words beginning with the preceding string)
  • “” = exact phrase

For example, the search term ‘+adult –male’ can be used to find all entries matching ‘adult’ but omitting entries that also have the term ‘male’ from those results.

Boolean search examples

[no character] (OR) – eg, ‘age father’ will find all matches containing ‘age’ or ‘father’

+ (AND) – eg, ‘+age +father’ will find all matches containing both ‘age’ and ‘father’

– (NOT) eg, ‘+age –father’ will find all matches containing ‘age’ but not ‘father’

*  (wildcard) Should be placed at the end of a string. Matches are based on words beginning with the preceding string, eg, ‘age*’ will find all matches that begin with ‘age’ such as ‘age’, ‘aged’, ‘ageing’

“” (exact phrase) eg, ‘“age at marriage”’ will only find matches containing the exact phrase “age at marriage”

More detailed information about Boolean searches is available here.

Tip

We encourage you to try running your search using alternative keywords, since terminology may vary across time and between regions: for example, ‘health’, ‘LLTI’, ‘illness’ and ‘disability’; or ‘sex’ and ‘gender’.

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