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Boolean Searching on the Internet

# Boolean Searching on the Internet - Back to Internet...

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Back to Internet Tutorials Boolean Searching on the Internet A Primer in Boolean Logic The Internet is a vast computer database. As such, its contents must be searched according to the rules of computer database searching. Much database searching is based on the principles of Boolean logic. Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship among search terms, and is named for the British-born Irish mathematician George Boole. On Internet search engines, the options for constructing logical relationships among search terms extend beyond the traditional practice of Boolean searching. This will be covered in the section below, Boolean Searching on the Internet. Boolean logic consists of three logical operators: OR AND NOT Each operator can be visually described by using Venn diagrams, as shown below. OR college OR university Query: I would like information about college.

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In this search, we will retrieve records in which AT LEAST ONE of the search terms is present. We are searching on the terms college and also university since documents containing either of these words might be relevant. This is illustrated by: the shaded circle with the word college representing all the records that contain the word "college" the shaded circle with the word university representing all the records that contain the word "university" the shaded overlap area representing all the records that contain both "college" and "university" OR logic is most commonly used to search for synonymous terms or concepts. Here is an example of how OR logic works: Search terms Results college 396,482 university 590,791 college OR university 819,214 OR logic collates the results to retrieve all the unique records containing one term, the other, or both. The more terms or concepts we combine in a search with OR logic, the more records we will retrieve. For example: Search terms Results college 396,482 university 590,791 college OR university 819,214 college OR university OR campus 929,677
AND poverty AND crime Query: I'm interested in the relationship between poverty and crime.

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Boolean Searching on the Internet - Back to Internet...

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