Q. What are Boolean Operators? How do I use AND and OR to create better searches?


Boolean operators are AND, OR, NOT. Using Boolean operators to build your searches will get more precise and relevant results. Use nesting when building a search strategy. Boolean operators are based on Boolean logic, created by British mathematician, George Boole (1815-1864).

Using "AND" narrows your search by retrieving only documents that have all of your search terms. Use to connect two or three different concepts.

Example: Internet AND privacy

Example: Alcohol AND advertising

Using "OR" expands your search by retrieving documents that have either of your search terms. Use to connect two or three similar concepts or synonyms or spellings.

Example: Internet OR World Wide Web

Example: University OR College

Example: sulfur OR sulphur

Using "NOT" limits your search by returning only your first search term not the second.  It works well when there are multiple meanings of the same word or name.

Example: Saturn NOT car

Example: Java NOT coffee

Nesting is used when combining your search terms in one search box.  It is similar to nesting mathematical statements in algebra, so the calculations are done in the proper order.

Example: (hybrid OR electric) AND (Toyota OR Honda)

  • Last Updated Dec 08, 2014
  • Views 56
  • Answered By Leslie Andersen

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