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Conducting Boolean Searches

ITSMARC also lets you search for words and phrases in certain combinations. This feature is known as Boolean searching, and the symbols used to connect words and phrases are called Boolean operators. The following table illustrates the operators available, sample searches, and the desired results.

Operator Example Explanation
AND or & Shakespeare & bard Search for both Shakespeare and bard anywhere in the same field
OR or | Shakespeare OR bard Search for Shakespeare or bard anywhere in the same field
NOT or ~ Shakespeare ~ bard Search for Shakespeare and not bard in the same field

Before you try your hand at Boolean Searching from the Search the Catalog page, remember that:

  • It can be used for searching any available fields author, title, subject, notes, all of those fields, or any combination;

  • Words being searched are not case sensitive (shakespeare, Shakespeare, and SHAKESPEARE are all interpreted the same way);

  • It works only with searches using the contain (not the begin with) parameter;

  • The search must be structured so that ITSMARC can understand it.

Note: The Search form lets you perform Boolean searching only for the fields or field combinations specified in the Find pulldown menu. The Combination Search feature gives you additional flexibility in searching several different fields in the same query.

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