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Advanced Search Techniques



In a database search, incorporating parentheses, or nesting, as it is also called, can be used for clarifying relationships between terms, to isolate parts of a query, and to specify the order a search should be run, as the search terms in parentheses are prioritized. Generally, terms in parentheses are linked using Boolean Operators.

Parentheses/Nesting Examples

In this Atla Religion Database example pictured below, the search below will have results that include Islam and Sufism, Christianity and mysticism, or both.

This search nests the words and Boolean operator "Islam AND Sufism" with parentheses and "Christianity AND Mysticism" with parentheses. Then uses the boolean operator OR between the two nested groups.

In this other Atla Religious Database search pictured below, searching Islam AND (Sufism OR mysticism) will have results that address Islam and Sufism as well as Islam and mysticism.

This search has the word "Islam," the Boolean operator AND, then the words "Sufism OR mysticism" nested in parentheses.