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Performing Combination Searches

You have just learned how to perform a Boolean search using the Search option. This section shows you how to perform Boolean searches using the Combination search function.

First, the Combination search page has three search entry lines instead of just one (Figure 13). For each entry line, you can select the type of entry to be searched. Click the down arrow beside each selection box on the right and choose Title, Author, Subject, or Note. After the first and second entry lines, select one of the Boolean operators AND, OR or NOT to determine the relationship between a search term and the term following. If you use two different operators, select the radio button that describes how search terms should be grouped:

(Term 1 OPERATOR Term 2) OPERATOR Term 3

For example, (Shakespeare AND Theater) NOT Hamlet

Term 1 OPERATOR (Term 2 OPERATOR Term 3)

For example, Shakespeare AND (Hamlet OR Macbeth)

Second, while Search performs a single search, the Combination search performs up to three individual searches using any combination of author, title, subject, and note fields. The results are combined according to the relationships you defined among the search terms. For example, you want to see if Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote anything about John Brown. Using Search, you could build a search query that looked in the author and subject indexes for Nathaniel Hawthorne AND John Brown (Figure 14). The results would display items for which both Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Brown were joint authors and subject entries which listed both Nathaniel Hawthorne and John Brown. (You would probably get few, if any, results.) You could also search the author index separately for works written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the subject index separately for John Brown. (You would probably get plenty of results, but you would have to review them to see if any were relevant.)

Using the Combination search feature, you could build a search query that looked only in the author field for Nathaniel Hawthorne and only in the subject field for John Brown (Figure 15). You could also specify that both conditions must be met before results are displayed. (To do this, select the Boolean AND between the first and second entry lines.) Depending on the contents of your library catalog, you could find the relevant item quickly and easily.

There is no difference between the way individual search queries are built in Search and Combination searches. You can use Boolean operators within a search query (search for Nathaniel Hawthorne AND John Brown) as well as use right hand truncation (*), and phrases (enclosed in quotation marks). You can also Set Limits in either search mode.