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Boolean Searching

Boolean Searching is a technique of combining different search terms to make the search more precise. Common boolean search structures include the following approaches.

HOWEVER, internet search engines may or may not offer these options and, further, they may use different symbols/words to accomplish the same results. Most internet search engines have an OPTIONS, ADVANCED SEARCHING, INFORMATION, etc page which describes how to do boolean searches.

term 1 or term 2 -- retrieves any records which have term 1 or term 2 in them. This search strategy maximizes the number of records found.

term 1 and term 2 -- retrieves records which have both terms in the record. This strategy reduces the number of results.

(term 1 or term 2) and term 3 -- retrieves records which have either term 1 and term 3 or term 2 and term3

term 1 not term 2 -- retrieves records which have only term 1 and do not include term 2. This term narrrows the scope of the search. Be very careful in using this strategy since desireable records can be very easily eliminated from the results.