IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Boolean Operators in Practice

Learn Your databases

We've looked at how to use Boolean operators AND and OR using the ProQuest database, but these examples are just the beginning of what you can do when you really dig in to the power available to you for searching.

librarians seecretDifferent databases and search engines may use different formats for Boolean Operators. Some use a plus sign (+) instead of AND; some make you use capital letters, others don't care. Check the Help or Search Tips to make sure you're doing it correctly.

Of course, you can do a search without using Boolean Operators. You can just type in a phrase like evaluating articles on the world wide web, and you'll probably get something. But how do you know you're getting the best? What if you don't get what you need? How can you fix your search? You'll probably just erase what you typed and try something else. Or you'll give up and try another topic. Or you'll get frustrated and stop.

Using Boolean Operators can help you organize and manage your searches.

Next >>