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Dental Assistant Program Guide: Finding Articles

Search Terms for this Field

Dental Assistant



Dental Care

Oral Care



Oral surgery

2. Generating search terms for topic searches

After selecting a database that is appropriate for your topic or information need, figure out the best search strategy for your chosen database. Always read the database descriptions and view any tutorials provided.


Use Gator Search to find eBooks, journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles, videos on your topic.

Gator Search is the single search service that allows us to search nearly all of the resources available from the library with only one search. 

3 - 4. Constructing searches using AND, OR, NOT

View two tutorials: 3. Searching effectively using AND, OR, NOT 

                                   4.  Combining AND, OR, NOT (advanced)

Summary: Library databases generally handle connecting words AND, OR, NOT in these specific ways:

  • Use AND between words when both (or all) words must be in the results, for example: 

cats and dogs and birds    Result: ALL three of these words must be present in each search result. Using AND has the effect of narrowing search results.

  • Use OR between words when either (or any) of the words are needed in the results, for example: 

cats or kittens or felines    Result: ANY of the three words are present in search results. Using OR has the effect of broadening search results. The best use of OR is whenever there are two or more words with similar meanings and any of these words will work in the search results.

  • Use NOT between words when a word is causing the wrong information and needs to be eliminated from search results, for example:

cats not dogs    Result: The first word (cats) is present in each search result but the word following NOT (dogs) is eliminated from results, even if the first word (cats) was also present in that result. Use of NOT is tricky. You could eliminate something you want!  

  • When using two or three connectors: Use parentheses ( ) around words connected with OR when combining with AND and NOT, for example:

(cats or kittens or felines) and (care or feeding) not birds   Result: Any of the words inside the first parentheses combined with any of the words inside the second parentheses are in the search results. All results containing the word following NOT (birds) is omitted no matter what other words are present.  This technique is called "nesting." It tells the search engine in what order to combine words.

This use of AND, OR, NOT is called Boolean logic, after George Boole, the mathematician who invented it. Most of the library databases (the library catalog, all Ebsco databases, and others) understand the use of AND, OR and NOT to connect keywords and phrases. Some databases behave differently, so check the help pages to see how they work.

Subject Journals

Journal Article Databases

The LSCO Library subscribes to over seventy journal/magazine article databases. Listed here are the databases most used for your program.

Gale OneFile: Health & Medicine

Directory of Open Access Journals