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Boolean Logic . … and other search strategies that work!. Using Boolean Logic and Other Techniques to Enhance Search Statements .

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Boolean Logic


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boolean logic

BooleanLogic

… and other search strategies that work!

using boolean logic and other techniques to enhance search statements
Using Boolean Logic and Other Techniques to Enhance Search Statements

Because the Internet is so huge, searches will often provide too many results. When creating search statements you should take advantage of additional techniques to refine your search results.

boolean logic3
Boolean Logic

Boolean logic, particularly the use of the Boolean operator AND, is the most important technique for limiting results in any database or search engine. These techniques include:

the principal boolean operators are

Boolean Operators

Use for

Examples

AND

+

Use AND to get fewer search results

cake AND chocolate

OR

Use OR to get more search results

adolescents OR teenagers

NOT

-

Use NOT to get fewer search results

media NOT radio

The principal Boolean operators are:
not eliminates material you don t want be careful not to get rid of stuff you might actually need
NOTEliminates material you don’t want- Be careful not to get rid of stuff you might actually need
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ORRetrieves matches for either term, so you get more records. Use with terms that have about the same meaning in your search
nesting

Nesting

Combine AND and OR in a single search. This technique divides your terms into units like an equation, by using parentheses.

Examples:

fruit AND(apple OR orange)

(fruit AND juice)AND apple

fruit AND(apple OR orange)AND juice

(fruit AND juice)AND(apple OR orange)

((fruit AND juice)AND(apple OR orange)) AND NOT banana

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NOmedia AND politics OR election retrieves records that match "media that also match politics" OR retrieves records that match "election."YESmedia AND (politics OR election) retrieves records that match media that also match either politics OR election.

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Truncation and Wildcard Truncation is a technique that enables a searcher to look for a word and any of its possible endings. This is sometimes called using a "wildcard" as it usually enables the searcher to insert a symbol as a wild card at the end of a word. This symbol instructs the computer to look for the root of the word and all alternate word endings or variations of a word and expands your search results

truncation and wildcard

Use a symbol (like an asterisk * , !, or ?) at the end of a word to replace any number of letters (truncation). Example: teen*teen,  teens,  teenager,  teenagers,  teenagedUse 1 or more symbols within a word to replace 1 or more letters (wildcard)Example: wom?nwomen woman

Truncation and Wildcard

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Use enough of a root word not to confuse the computer. Using opera* to search for operations retrieves opera, operant, operable etc.
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In most sarch engines, and in many databases, it is possible to search for a appearing next to each other. The most common method for doing this is to surround the phrase with quotation marks.

Phrase Searching

In most search engines, and in many databases, it is possible to search for a phrase, or two or more words appearing next to each other. The most common method for doing this is to surround the phrase with quotation marks.

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For example:A search for "acid rain" will look for those words in the database only when they appear next to each other.

Other examples:

“May the force be with you”

“Hillary Clinton”

“presidential election 2008”

use 6 to 8 key words in your query

Use 6 to 8 key words in your query

More keywords chosen at the appropriate “level” will give you a smaller and more focused list of hits, greatly reducing the possible documents returned.

Examples: new, planet, planets, discover, solar, system.

limiting and expanding a database search

Limiting and expanding a database search

Many databases will offer additional methods for limiting and refining search results. Some of these limiters may include:

full text

you can search only for full text articles

peer reviewed

you can search only for articles that are considered peer reviewed

date range

you can search only for articles that have been published during a specific time period

learning to use the database options

Learning to use the database options

Use the helpscreens, and advancedsearch options

Remember that every database is different, offering different ways to create search statements or use controlled vocabulary. Each database will usually provide help screens to explain how to search effectively within that database.

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TIP: Be aware that each database and search engine may use Boolean logic in a different way. For example:In Yahoo and other search engines you can use the plus sign “+” as a Boolean “AND” or the “-” as a Boolean “NOT”.Some search engines have pop down lists to help. In Yahoo, a pop down menu helps you to focus your search. In Google, you can use the advanced search feature.

ebscohost
EBSCOhost

EBSCOhost allows you to select the database that you want to search- so you can choose the one/ones that best suit your topic. These include:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Communications and Mass Media Complete
  • Health Source- Consumer Edition
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
  • Professional Development Collection
  • Religion and Philosophy Collection
special ebscohost features
Special EBSCOhost Features

Another feature of EBSCOhost that you might find valuable is the “Folder Option.” This option allows you tostoreitems in a folder for a future session. To use this option, you will need to create an “account” first. Or you can just email them to yourself!

want to practice some of these strategies

Want to practice some of these strategies?

Go to:

http://www-navigator.utah.edu/module3/fridge.swf