Chatsworth Charter High School

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Research Tools

 Boolean Operators

 

Use any of the following operators to connect search terms and control how your search is processed.

AND

OR

NOT

WITH

SAME

 

Boolean Operators: Definitions and Examples

 

AND -- Finds documents containing all your search terms.

Example: computers AND bulletin boards

 

Why is this a good search?

 

Bulletin boards don't have to be electronic. Adding the word computers to the search makes the context clear. Searching with both using the AND operator is likely to exclude any items on cork bulletin boards and unlikely to exclude any items on electronic bulletin boards.

 

OR -- Finds documents containing any of your search terms.

Example: farming OR agriculture

 

Why is this a good search?

 

Farming and agriculture tend to be used interchangeably. Searching with both using the OR operator makes retrieval of all relevant items highly likely.

 

NOT -- Finds documents containing your first word, but not your second word.

Example: accelerators NOT nuclear

 

Why is this a good search?

 

Excluding nuclear from this search makes it likely that items retrieved will be about motor vehicle accelerators rather than nuclear accelerators.

 

WITH -- Finds documents where search terms appear in the same sentence, in any order.

Example: Vermont WITH tourism

 

Why is this a good search?

 

Specifying that Vermont and tourism should appear in the same sentence should retrieve a good set of items about Vermont tourism, rather than items about tourism in other places that are "about the size of Vermont" or "reminiscent of Vermont." The SAMES search is also less restrictive than searching on "Vermont tourism" as a phrase. That would exclude items that contained such phrases as "tourism in Vermont".

 

SAME -- Finds documents where search terms appear in the same paragraph, in any order.

Example: French SAME Quebec

 

Why is this a good search?

 

Specifying that French and Quebec should appear in a paragraph together should retrieve a good set of items about French culture and language in Quebec, rather than items about the French in France that mention Quebec in passing.