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"Searching Using AND, OR, NOT (Boolean Searching)" icon

Searching Using AND, OR, NOT (Boolean Searching)

This brief Flash tutorial teaches students the basics of using AND, OR, and NOT to combine terms when searching in library catalogs, databases or the Web. This tutorial is very user-driven in that the user decides which aspects to learn (AND, OR, NOT) in which order. Users may also control the pacing of the tutorial using the back and next buttons. There are also simple, non-graded quizzes and humorous examples throughout to help reinforce...

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Denise Landry-Hyde
Denise Landry-Hyde (Librarian)
8 years ago
This tutorial is very useful in describing the use of Boolean operators in searching. The visuals are quite good! Flash is used, and there is an accessible text page to take care of universal access requirements!
Time spent reviewing site: several minutes going through the Venn diagrams
Kimberly Miller
Kimberly Miller (Librarian)
9 years ago

Overall, this is a very useful introduction to Boolean operators and could be great either for introducing students to the concept for the first time or as a review for students who may be struggling. The illustrative examples are very clear and I think would help studentss wrap their head around the AND, OR, NOT concepts.

Since this tutorial was submitted to MERLOT nearly 6 years ago, it'd be great to see a new version with updated screen shots and perhaps a non-Flash version that would be more compatible with mobile viewing.

Time spent reviewing site: 10 minutes
Michael L. Porter, MDE.,MLIS
11 years ago

Member Status - Content Developer

Usage - I have not personally used this tutorial, but I have created tutorials discussing similar content.

Ease of Use - Found the tutorial very easy to navigate, instructions are simple and easy to follow.

Prior Use - As a former librarian I am very familiar with the topic area, both personally and professionally when using databases for research.

Accuracy of Content - Found this content to be accurate and reliable.

Technical Remarks:


Overall I found this to be a very good tutorial and useful for anyone desiring to understand the concept of Boolean searching / operators.

I would however redesign the tutorial with up-to-date screenshots, and replace the outdated graphics with more modern icons and pics.

Finally, a link to allow users to download a printed (pdf) version of the tutorial.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 mins
Jon Drucker
Jon Drucker (Librarian)
11 years ago

This tutorial is just right for the "Introduction to Boolean Searching" segment in my information literacy classes.  The language is clear enough and the scope is great for college freshmen.

Used in course? Yes
Staci Wilson
Staci Wilson (Librarian)
11 years ago

This tutorial provides users with a guided simulation of Boolean Searching.  It is simple and straightforward.  This tutorial is an outstanding example of how to teach this type of search.  I feel it can be used as a very effective teaching tool.

Technical Remarks:

Requires Flash player.



Time spent reviewing site: 10 minutes
Megan Hodge
Megan Hodge (Librarian)
12 years ago

I loved that this was interactive; it's great guided practice after the concept of Boolean has been introduced.

Used in course? Yes
Kevin McDonough
Kevin McDonough (Faculty)
13 years ago
Very easy to understand tutorial on basic Boolean operators. Examples were clear and helpful. Simple explanation and does not require much time to complete.

Technical Remarks:

Easy to navigate. Flash elements worked well. Nothing was confusing.
Time spent reviewing site: 3-5 minutes.