Operator precedence when more than one operator in a search query.

 
Operator precedence when more than one operator in a search query.
 

In search queries that include multiple different search operators, the ProQuest platform search engine will process operators in this order of precedence:

  1. NEAR
  2. PRE
  3. AND
  4. OR
  5. NOT

For instance, a search for “education AND elementary NOT secondary” (quotes not part of search query) would be interpreted in this order: “education AND (elementary NOT secondary)” (quotes not part of search query).

“elementary NOT secondary” is considered first. This search will return results on education that discuss elementary but not secondary education. If the user wants to circumvent the above order of precedence, she can employ parentheses to control the order in which search terms get combined.