Boolean Searches


Boolean searchers are named after the British born Mathematician George Boole. Boolean Logic establishes relationships between keywords in a seasrch. It has several operators:
  • AND is equal to the "+" symbol. For example sun and eclipse. This will find any page that has both these words on the page. The search engines usually look for words within the body of the page or in the metadata in the head of the page.
  • OR is the default setting of any search engine; meaning, all search engines will return all the words you type in, automatically.
    For example sun or eclipse. This will produce many results as it will look for pages with either of these key words in the body of the page or the metatdata. This search will look for pages with sun and pages with eclipse but not necessarily with both i.e. could also bring up lunar eclipses. This is best used when there are several names for the same topic. e.g. German Shepherd and Alsatian dogs.
  • NOT is equal to the "-" symbol. This can be a powerful filtering tool. It can eliminate pages you do not want in your search. e.g. sun not eclipse will give you pages with the sun but not about the eclipse as it eliminates any pages with this word.
You can also use:
  • NEAR which is equal to putting a search query in quotes, i.e., "ancient Inca astronomy". You're essentially telling the search engine that you want all of these words, in this specific order, or this specific phrase.


Melbourne State Library
http://ergo.slv.vic.gov.au/learn-skills/research-skills/locate-information/using-keywords

University of Sydney - Search smarter, search fasterVideo on research Skills

http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/elearning/learn/topic/index.php

RMIT - Searching the Web
http://emedia.rmit.edu.au/isearch/search/searching-web

Google Search Help
http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=guide.cs&guide=1221265&answer=134479&rd=1
http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=guide.cs&guide=1221265&answer=136861&rd=1


Internet Tutorials
http://www.internettutorials.net/boolean.asp


Recommended search strategy by UC Berkley
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Strategies.html