Searching Using Keywords and Boolean Logic – Boolean Logic: Creating Effective Search Strings for Your Keywords

Boolean logic is the system of logic used by electronic search databases. It is composed of operators and connectors.

Boolean operators are used to carry out complex and specific search operations, whereas Boolean connectors are used to connect and denote relationships among multiple keywords.

Let's start with the connectors.

Boolean Connectors: Stringing Keywords Together

Boolean connectors (AND, OR, NOT) can be thought of as links used to connect multiple keywords. With connectors, you can link several keywords to create a "search-string” that will search for a combination of keywords.

The "AND” Connector

Connecting two keywords together with the word "AND” will execute a search for documents that include both keywords.

NOTE: The "&” symbol may be used in place of the "AND” connector; the two are interchangeable.

The "OR” Connector:

Using the operator "OR” will retrieve documents that mention either keyword.

The "NOT” Connector:

Using the operator "NOT” will exclude documents containing that keyword.