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Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

While researching using CanLII, are you looking for documents containing one word or phrase but not another? Or maybe you are looking for documents containing an exact phrase?

Never fear, operators are here to help!

What are operators and how do I use them?

Operators are words or characters you can add to a search box to customize your search results. You may have heard of the basic Boolean operators (AND, NOT, and OR) before, but there are many more that you can use on CanLII.

Consult the table below to see a list of compatible operators, what they do to your results, and some example searches.

(Click image for a larger version)

Important notes:

  •  You do not have to capitalize AND, OR, and EXACT for the search engine to recognize them as operators. However, NOT should always be typed in upper case to be treated as a search operator.
  • When you do not use any operators in a CanLII search, this is equivalent to using the operator AND applying to all your search terms. The search engine will return results containing all of the terms you specified.

Good luck and happy searching!

Alex Tsang (@atsang101)

[This tip first appeared on the CanLII blog and is also available in French]

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