boolean searching

boolean searching

A method of combining concepts in a search which allows the searcher to narrow or broaden the focus of a search; boolean logic uses 3 logical commands or "operators": AND, OR and NOT.

Boolean search commands
OR
Used to expand or broaden search results to include synonyms and related terms.
 
Example
“Violence or conflict or aggression”; this search string would retrieve any record that held any of those 3 words.

AND
Used to narrow or restrict search results.
 
Example
“Violence and conflict and aggression”; the search string would retrieve any record that contained all of those 3 words; however, the search would not retrieve any record that had only 2 of the 3 terms.

NOT
Used to further restrict search results.

Example
“Television and broadcasting not video”; here the search string would retrieve records that had both the terms "television" and "broadcasting" but would eliminate those records if they also contained the word "video".

The addition of parentheses enables the searcher to specify which segment of the search string is to be evaluated first.
 
Example
“Television and (violence or aggression)”; here, the search engine will look first for items that contain either of the terms "violence" or "aggression"; it will then narrow down those search results even further to contain only the records that have the word television as well as either of the other 2 terms.
References in periodicals archive ?
Advanced search for SEC documents allows for full Boolean searching (AND, OR, NOT), phrase searches, and searching within a file type (PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, Word or Text).
But last semester, when I asked for a show of hands, no one in my class of nearly 20 had ever had a demonstration of these tools, either in college or high school, nor had anyone ever gone over Boolean searching for them, nor had anyone ever done a demo on advanced searching in Google.
He points out that 15 years ago "enterprise search was ready to move beyond simple keyword and Boolean searching."
Additionally, improved efficiency with multi-threading, Boolean searching and smart collection technology speed performance and work flow.
A reference librarian from Montana State University embraces the complexity of teaching web search skills and explains the advanced search features offered by phrase searching, limits, Boolean searching, and truncation.
Blogpulse's advanced search options (www.blogpulse.com/) include full Boolean searching capability (and, or, and not) with nested Boolean search capability.
Some go beyond traditional Boolean searching to include enhancements like a built-in thesaurus, natural language and fuzzy searching.
For a national library, the search capabilities of the online catalog are not as sophisticated as American users are accustomed to, although Boolean searching and limits by format are available.
Boolean searching uses three words to determine results: and, or and not.
Other menu options include an advanced search that allows for Boolean searching and a refined search that allows another term to be added.
Tools allowing Boolean searching have been the standard for librarian-type searching but are overlooked by the typical searcher who's opting for simple search modes.
Boolean searching offers a more sophisticated search method based on word relationships called "connectors." When searching for two terms, the search will produce only those documents with the two terms occurring side by side.