Boolean operators

Boolean search examples

Pictorial representation of the boolean search string for dogs
documents that are about dogs
boolean search: dogs
Pictorial representation of the boolean search string for cats
documents that are about cats
boolean search: cats
Pictorial representation of the boolean search string for cats AND dogs
documents that are about both cats and dogs
boolean search: cats AND dogs
Searching on the Search Screen remember the default is AND, so do not type in the operator AND
Pictorial representation of the boolean search string for cats OR dogs
documents that are about either cats or dogs
boolean search: cats OR dogs
Searching from the Search Screen remember to type in OR in uppercase
Pictorial representation of the boolean search string for cats NOT dogs
documents that are about cats but not dogs
boolean search: cats NOT dogs
Searching on the Search Screen page remember to type in the minus symbol (-) to represent the operator NOT

REMEMBER: All searching in Libraries Australia is keyword based, unless quotation marks are used, eg. "wild dogs" which indicates a phrase search.

Boolean searches on the simple search screen

Boolean searches, AND, OR and NOT(-), are applied to all fields searched (eg. Title, subject, notes) from the simple search screen.

Order of precedence

Where a search query uses more than one operator, the Libraries Australia system, by default, processes them in the order: AND, OR, NOT

However you can make the system apply a different processing order by using parentheses. The terms in parentheses are then processed first of all, giving you a different search result.

Example 1
a search query: London or Paris vacation

  • will by default search as: London OR (Paris AND vacation) - so Paris and vacation will be combined first and then records with the term London added into the result.
  • but the same search query using parentheses around London or Paris: ie (London OR Paris) vacation - will search first for records with the term "London" and also for records with the term "Paris", then the system will select from the combined records all those which also contain the term " vacation".