Using OR, NOT, AND to do a boolean search

Searching between search lines is an implied AND.  Within a search field, use the search operators: OR, NOT, and AND

Examples, searching the “Title” field for:

Italy OR Rome

All titles containing either the word Italy or the word Rome

Italy NOT Rome

All titles containing the word Italy, but not the word Rome

Italy AND Rome

All titles containing both the word Italy and the word Rome

Italy AND “in Rome”

All titles containing the word Italy and the phrase “in Rome”

Italy AND (Venice OR Florence)

All titles containing the word Italy and also either the word Venice or Florence

(Italy AND Venice) OR Florence

All titles containing either Florence or both Italy and Venice

One powerful way to use boolean search is in searching the “Subject” field.  For example you can use it to exclude certain Subjects.

Subject is:  music AND school


Subject is: (music AND schools) NOT “juvenile fiction”

The second search line above will exclude all juvenile fiction.


You must use regular quotation marks – smart/special quotation marks are ignored.

To use multiple search operators, use parentheses to designate order.

Unlike with proximity search, you can use quotes with boolean search.

Using WITHIN-n to do a proximity search

A proximity search searches for words that occur within n words of each other and in the order shown.

A proximity search is written as:

wordone WITHIN-n wordtwo


n specifies up-to-how-many-words-apart the words can be

WITHIN must be in ALL CAPS

wordone and wordtwo need to be single words – they cannot be multiple words in quotes, nor can they be another search

Examples, searching the “Title” field for:

new WITHIN-4 invention

All titles in which ‘new’ occurs up to 4 words before ‘invention’

business WITHIN-0 strategies

All titles in which ‘business’ comes right before ‘strategies’ (they might be separated by punctuation)

business WITHIN-1 strategies

All titles in which ‘business’ and ‘strategies’ are either next to each other or are separated by at most one word, and appear in that order

Only single words can be used with the proximity operator; the fields cannot be in quotes or parentheses!  Examples:

DOESN’T work:  employment WITHIN-5 (south AND africa)

DOESN’T work:  employment WITHIN-5 “south africa”

However, you can put the whole proximity operation in parentheses and use it as a field with a boolean operator.  Example:

WORKS:  employment AND (south WITHIN-2 africa)


How ebrary determines the “document language” setting for a book

In most cases ebrary gets the “document language” setting for each book from the Publisher metadata.  The Publisher assigns one or more language codes in accordance with the language(s) of significant portions of the text.

If there is no language code provided by the Publisher, then ebrary gets the language code(s) from Bowker.  If there are no language codes assigned by the Publisher or Bowker, then ebrary metadata staff assign the code(s) based on the language(s) of the title.

Searching for documents in a given language when there isn’t a checkbox for the language

You can search for books written in a particular language, even if there isn’t yet a checkbox listed for that language on our Advanced Search page.  You’ll just need to start with a search for a language that is listed, then replace the two-letter language code in the URL with the desired two-letter language code.
Here are the detailed steps:
  1. Go to Advanced Search by clicking on the “Advanced” link to the right of the search window
  2. Use the drop-down menu to search by “Document language”
  3. For this example, where the language you want to search for is not listed, choose one that is listed, for example, leave just the “English” checkbox checked
  4. Add any other search criteria you desire
  5. Click “Search”
  6. You’ll then notice that the URL at the top includes the string “language&p00=en” (English is code=en)
  7. To change the URL to search for a different language, just change the two letters “en” to the two-letter language code you want to search for
    1. A list of two-letter language codes can be found here:
  8. For example, here’s the above search, but for books in Danish (code=da)
  9. Press your keyboard’s “Enter” key once you’ve modified the URL to run the new search

List of titles added to the Academic Complete subscription

You can view the list of titles added  to the Academic Complete subscription collection in the current quarter as follows:

Academic Complete Titles Added Quarterly

to display the titles added to Academic Complete in current quarter.