Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Library building hours and access are limited at this time. Services and support are being provided remotely. See COVID-19 library updates.

PHYS/ASTR 040: Expanding Ideas of Time and Space: Articles & Books

A guide with library resources for this course.

Boolean It!

Boolean searching allows you to customize how you search for things in academic databases, and it's based on a few key pieces of syntax: AND, OR, NOT, (), and "". 


When you put two terms into an academic database, AND is usually implied: You usually want both words in fluid inclusions to appear in your search results. You could just as easily write:

fluid AND inclusions

OR and ""

But let's say that I want to find something about extrasolar planets. However, there was a terminology change around 2007, after which people started using the term exoplanets. If I want articles from both eras, I can do the following:

exoplanets OR "extrasolar planets"

What this tells my database is that I don't care which term appears in the results. I just want one of them. In addition, I want extrasolar planets to be searched as a phrase. (This also works in Google with song lyrics.)


What if I'm looking for women in STEM (science, engineering, mathematics, and technology) fields, though? Try it. You'll see a lot of resources on stem cells. This is where the NOT operator is helpful:

women stem NOT cell NOT "clinical trial" NOT "stem cells"

Of course, Google and Google Scholar work differently. Instead of NOT, use a - to make it look like this:

women stem -cell -"clinical trial" -"stem cells"

Everything and ()

Or, of course, we could do this with everything (and here parentheses signify order of operations):

women AND ("stem" OR science) NOT cell NOT "stem cells"

Searching Articles+

Accessing Library eBooks

Finding Articles

Science Research Support Librarian

Kayleigh Bohemier's picture
Kayleigh Bohemier
During COVID-19, library services have moved to online-only.

Please email me or use the Schedule Appointment button. Appointments will happen using Zoom or other videoconferencing software. Zoom has a phone option for those who need to call in.


Marx Science and Social Science Library (formerly called CSSSI)
Office C41
219 Prospect Street
Concourse Level
Kline Biology Tower