Boolean searching• Work smarter...not harder!• Boolean operators allow you to narrow your search to specific information.• This can be very helpful in avoiding information overload.
What do Boolean searches include?The THREE most common operators are AND OR NOT Now let’s look at how to use them, when you search for information…
“AND” lets you search for items that include two or more search terms or keywords. Both terms must appear in the article in order for that article to appear in your search results. e.g. volcanoes AND causesSearching just “volcanoes” will giveyou the first circle.Searching just “causes” would giveyou the second circle. CausesBut searching “volcanoes ANDcauses” will give you results for theoverlapping portion. Volcanoes Try an “AND” search for your topic..
“OR” lets you search two or more search terms at once. Unlike “AND” searches, only one of the search terms need to appear in an article in order for that article to appear in your search returns. e.g. hurricane OR cycloneSearching using “OR” gives youEVERY article that includes eitherof the two search terms (orkeywords).This sort of search is great if you’reunsure of which keyword to use — cycloneyou can just try both at once! hurricaneTry visualizing an “OR” searchfor your topic…
“NOT” lets you exclude articles from your search results that you know won’tbe useful. e.g. rock NOT geologyIf I’m interested in rock music and Isearch “rock,” I may get a lot of searchreturns that relate togeology, something totally unrelated torock music. But I can get rid of allthose useless geology search returnsby searching: rock NOT geology. This geologymeans I have a lot fewer search rockreturns to weed through.
Quotation marks Quotation marks are extremely useful. As we mentioned before, search engines and databases may automatically put an “AND” in between each of the words in your search string. So if you search… King of the hill …the database will actually search: king AND of AND the AND hillSo how do we only search for articles that include the full phrase “King of thehill”? We use quotation marks around the phrase: “King of the hill”
Now let’s create a few search strings using Booleanoperators. “I want to find information about cloningE.g. humans.” To find information on this topic, you could actually try a couple of different search strings. Here are two possibilities: Cloning AND human “human cloning”
Your project….Each group member can take one of your researchquestions and identify the key terms for a Booleansearch. “Your research question.” _____ AND _____ “ _________” Once you have located a suitable article you can use the ‘reading for information’ template, to read for understanding and apply your note taking skills.