Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 

USING BOOLEAN OPERATORS IN ONLINE SEARCHING-- SELECTED RESOURCES 

Keeley Library,   August 2, 2000

Boolean Searching can  help us to perform better searches of online catalogs and databases.

If you choose  the Complex  or Advanced Search option, you will often  be presented with a form in which to type your search terms. You can change the way in which information will be searched and results displayed by changing the Boolean operators.
To change them, click on the arrow in the  pop-up menu to the right of the word, AND.

 
WHEN TO USE THE LOGICAL OPERATORS,   AND, OR, NOT OR XOR IN ONLINE SEARCHING:

                                    SEARCH FOR: DOGS AND  CATS
Result list must include both dogs and cats.
Resulting list of articles is smaller, but more precise and accurate, since both items must occur in the book, magazine article, etc.
Use this option when you want to limit results, especially when both terms are very general, or initial search yields too many hits.

 Note: Some search engines use a +  sign before the word instead of AND. Others enclose a phrase within quotes or within a parentheses to search words together.

                             SEARCH FOR: DOGS OR CATS
Result list can include one, or the other, or both.
Resulting list of articles or books will be larger, but less precise.

Use this option when you want to expand a search to find everything there is about both terms, or when initial search yields few results.

                                    SEARCH FOR: DOGS NOT  CATS
A term is excluded from the result list.
None of the books, or articles in the result  list will have anything about cats. 
Use this option to limit a search, when you want to screen out, or eliminate terms not relevant to your search.

Note: Some search engines use a - sign before the word instead of NOT

                               SEARCH FOR: DOGS XOR  CATS
Both terms are included in the search, but are listed as separate results.

Example: You might want to use this method if you are doing research that will be used for several different projects. XOR will separate the result list for each search term.
 

The Sails WebCat Online Library Catalog has a Complex Search Option. The Online Periodicals Databases also have Complex or Advanced Search options  that allow you to do Boolean Searching using  AND, OR, NOT

Links to Online Search Engines which have an Advanced, or Complex Search option
with Boolean operators, AND, OR, NOT:

Alta Vista Advanced Search Menu(Boolean Query) Google Advance Search Menu
HotBot Advanced Search Menu Intelliseek  ProFusion Modified Boolean Menu

Return to Making the Keeley Library Work for YOU
Return to Using Online Catalogs
Return to History Resources Page

Jane Constant  Keeley Library
B.M.C.Durfee High School of Fall River
September, 1978  to  June, 2001