Boolean Hair Logic
Introduction to Boolean Search
Boolean search is based on the principles of Boolean Algebra. Although this search technique might sound complicated, learning the key operators is easy and can drastically improve the effectiveness of your searches. Many online databases understand Boolean search as well as the library catalog.
- OR - Using the "OR" operator tells the search engine to retrieve documents containing at least one of the terms from your search query; and "OR" retrieves documents containing at least one of the terms from your search string
- XOR - Using the "XOR" (exclusive OR) operator between terms searches for instances where one but not the other of the two terms is present;
- AND - Using the "AND" operator between terms retrieves documents containing all the terms in your search string;
- NOT - Using the "NOT" operator will tell the search engine to exclude a specific term from your search query results. Use "NOT" with caution.
When you want to search for a complete phrase, enclose the words in quotation marks e.g. "natural history museum" or "apple nutritional value." This tells the computer to search for your exact, whole phrase.
Nesting or Parentheses
(life expectancy) AND (The United States of America OR America OR The United States)