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Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 2: Boolean operators

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 1: Boolean operators

In electronic bibliographic databases, Neo can use AND, OR, and NOT in Subject searches, which look for matches in the title, author, subject headings, and note fields of each catalogue record. After identifying the most important concepts, it is necessary to indicate how the concepts should be linked with Boolean operators (AND, OR NOT). Various methods are used to combine the indexed terms in order to retrieve the desired result. The best known of these is logical operations, known as Boolean operators. It is also important to keep in mind that most Search Engines require that Boolean operators be typed in Capital letters

  • And combines search terms so that each search result contains all of the terms. For example, travel and Europe find articles that contain both travel and Europe.
  • Or combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms. For example, college or university finds results that contain either college or university.
  • Not excludes terms so that each search result does not contain any of the terms that follow it. For example, television not cable finds results that contain television but not cable.