What is Boolean searching and how do I use it?

Where can I find information on Boolean search techniques? How do I conduct a Boolean search?

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2024     Views: 64

Boolean logic defines relationships between terms in a search. The Boolean search operators are AND, OR, and NOT (they must be capitalized). You can use these operators to create a broad or narrow search.

AND combines search terms so that each search result contains all the terms.

For example, searching for travel AND Europe finds articles that contain both travel and Europe.

OR combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms.

For example, searching for college OR university finds articles that contain either college or university.

NOT excludes terms so that the search results do not contain any of the terms that follow it.

For example, searching for television NOT cable finds articles that contain television but not cable.

Note: When executing a search, AND takes precedence over OR.

For more details, check out our guide, Develop a Search Strategy. From there, you can select the Drafting Your Search tab and scroll down to the Combining Keywords to Create a Search section, where you will find more information on Boolean searching.

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