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Research Techniques – Boolean Searching

When searching for resources and information it becomes important to limit the search query to relevant keywords and terms that relate to the required task. In order to assist this search practice, the technique of Boolean searching can be implemented.

This requires the use of combined keywords with operators or modifiers such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results in the search. For example: “dogs AND puppies” will narrow the search and retrieve results that only contain all of the search terms. “Dogs OR puppies” will broaden the search to retrieve any of the words listed but not necessarily all of them. “Dogs NOT puppies” will narrow the search by excluding the second search term.

This simple technique may be utilised to assist students in the research for resources for study tasks.