Boolean Operators Lyndi Petersen and Joseph Unwin

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  • Boolean Operators Lyndi Petersen and Joseph Unwin
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  • What Is A Boolean Operator? Google describes Boolean Operators as simple words used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search. They are used to expand or restrict search results Click here to learn morehere
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  • How Do They Work? Use key words: AND, NOT, OR, minus PhotoPhoto
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  • AND Refine Using AND Type Your Search Find A Search Engine Use AND when you want to expand AND searches for any website that has both results you are looking for
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  • OR Example: One Direction OR 5 Seconds of Summer search results: Use OR to expand search results OR allows you to find both of what youre looking for but not in the same website or picture
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  • NOT Use NOT to restrict search results NOT allows you to search for something but not certain topics that pertain to it. Example: Jazz NOT Utah
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  • Minus Use minus (-) the same way you use NOT Do not use spaces You get: Example: Search for French Revolution LesMis Not: Click here to see the search resultshere
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  • Note: Search queries containing several operators search in the following order: ( ) NEAR NOT AND OR
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  • Quotation Marks Requires words to search as a phrase, in the exact order you type them.
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  • Common Words Usually Ignored Search: which virus that One virus is searched on. Which and that are ignored. To require common words to be searched. +which virus +that which virus that
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  • Near Dogs NEAR cats requires both terms, like AND, with the added requirement that they be within 16 words of each other. Joining words by NEAR gives you fewer documents than AND, because it requires the words to be closer together.
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  • Parentheses Require the terms and operations that occur inside them to be searched first. This is called "nesting." Parentheses MUST BE USED to group terms joined by OR when there is any other Boolean operator in the search. o "global warming" AND "sea level rise" AND (California OR "pacific coast*") - Requires first two terms somewhere in all documents, and either California or pacific coast. Parentheses also MUST BE USED with NEAR: ("global warming" NEAR "sea level rise") AND (California OR "pacific coast*") - Requires sea level rise to be within 16 words of global warming; the rest can be anywhere in the pages. The parentheses guarantee that the effect of near stops with sea level rise.
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  • Note: You do not need or even want to get very complicated with Boolean searching in web searching. Searching the web is free, and several simpler searches take less time than a humongous search. Moreover, with complicated searches, you often don't know which parts of the search worked and which did not. Simpler searches can more easily be compared with one another, and you know what worked. (Barker 9).
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  • Using these operators can greatly reduce or expand the amount of records returned. Boolean operators are useful in saving time by focusing searches for more 'on-target' results that are more appropriate to your needs, eliminating unsuitable or inappropriate. Each search engine or database collection uses Boolean operators in a slightly different way or may require the operator be typed in capitals or have special punctuation. The specific phrasing will be found in either the guide to the specific database found in Research Resources or the search engine's help screens. -GoogleGoogle
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  • Interesting Fact Boolean Operators were named after George Boole.