Skills Hub

Boolean Connectors

boolean header

 

Boolean connectors / operators

You can combine multiple search words together in search databases using connectors.

Connectors can sometimes be referred to as Boolean connectors or Boolean operators.

The most common Boolean connectors are: AND, OR, NOT.

 

Why use Boolean connectors?

Combining your search words using connectors can improve the relevancy of your results, because connectors cause the search engine or database you are using to search your keywords in a more specific and filtered way.

In many databases, if you don't use a connector between your search words the AND connector automatically applies to your search.

For example, the keyword search: Brexit voting Wales would be interpreted as Brexit AND voting AND Wales.

 

Using AND between search words will:

- instruct to the database to ensure ALL the search terms are present in the search results

- narrow/ refine your search results

 

Example search: cats AND dogs.

Search results: will include both of these words anywhere in the text.

 

AND venn diagram 

 

 

Using OR between your search words will:

- connect two or more similar concepts or keywords together, instructing the database to find ANY of your search terms present in the search results

- broaden your search results

 

Example search: cats OR kittens.

Search results: will include either cats, kittens, or both anywhere in the text.

 
Using NOT between search words will:

- eliminate an element from your search

- narrow/ refine your search results

 

Example search: (voting AND Europe) NOT Italy

Search results: will include both of the words in the bracket where the word "Italy" does not also appear.

This type connector is good to use when you know what you do NOT want to appear in your search results.

 

 

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