Boolean search

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Boolean search

[′bü·lē·ən ′sərch]
(computer science)
A search for selected information, that is, information satisfying conditions that can be expressed by AND, OR, and NOT functions.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Boolean search

(information science)
(Or "Boolean query") A query using the Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT, and parentheses to construct a complex condition from simpler criteria. A typical example is searching for combinatons of keywords on a World-Wide Web search engine.


car or automobile

"New York" and not "New York state"

The term is sometimes stretched to include searches using other operators, e.g. "near".

Not to be confused with binary search.

See also: weighted search.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

Boolean search

A search for data that meets several criteria by using the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (see Boolean logic). For example, the request: "Search for all Spanish and French speaking employees who have MBAs" would be written as follows if the query were expressed on a command line. Spanish and French are placed in parentheses in order to be treated as a single item.
list for degree="MBA" and(language="Spanish" or language="French")

In the following example, the parentheses are missing, and the query is incorrect. The AND ties MBA and Spanish together; therefore, people who speak Spanish and have an MBA would be selected, which is correct. However, the OR separates French from the rest of the query, and anyone speaking French, no matter which degree they held, would also be selected.
list for degree="MBA" andlanguage="Spanish" or language="French"

A Google "Advanced" (Boolean) Search
Searching text on Web pages is much less exact than querying records in a database, and this search actually produced 10 million results. However, the Boolean concept does still apply. In this Google "Advanced Search," the OR is stated clearly, but the AND and NOT operators are there nonetheless.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Using the Boolean search strategy "transpersonal AND psychotherapy" yielded about 25 to 30 articles per block starting in 1970 (see Table 3).
On the other hand, Internet search engines do support basic Boolean search capabilities.
As if this weren't bad enough, there are glaring errors in both the Boolean search examples.
Power searchers using Boolean search terms will find improved source selection; a dropdown menu with the most popular sources; and improved features for selecting, viewing, printing, downloading, and e-mailing results.
In the reference section, students can access entries by category, Boolean search, and more.
You can use wildcard characters for truncation, search using the Boolean operators "AND" and "OR," build nested Boolean searches, and search phrases by enclosing the phrase in quotation marks.
From choosing a topic to conducting Boolean searches to identifying authoritative resources, the lessons offer a complete guide.
The company's linguistic technology focuses on relevant results, and is designed to simplify the process using optimised ontologies to eliminate reliance on complicated Boolean searches, and using separate author, journal and affiliation entries to avoid confusing results.
The system then generates Boolean searches based on this language, which it applies to all other documents in the pool.
The service provides a rich query language that enables businesses to search within particular fields, perform Boolean searches, retrieve facet information and specify the data included in the search results.
The search box brings up results quickly, but it isn't immediately clear whether Boolean searches are supported.
Coverage includes preparing a research topic and thesis; constructing Boolean searches; and search strategies and content evaluation for three major research tools--online book catalogs, periodical databases, and Internet search engines.