Answered By: Robert Sebek
Last Updated: Sep 01, 2016     Views: 57

Boolean searching is the process of combining search terms with "or," "and," and "not." Summon supports Boolean searching multiple ways. By default, multiple search terms are considered to have an and between each word. To search as a phrase (so that word order is considered), enclose your search terms in quotes. Using and will reduce the number of search results.

You can instead search using or (to broaden your search results) by inserting OR in all capitol letters between words. You can exclude search terms using NOT in front of a search term. Words and operators can be grouped using parentheses, leading to very complex searches.  The New York Public library has a nice visual explanation of using the boolean operators.  You can also view a short video on boolean searching by the Carnegie Vincent Library.

The Subject Terms facet also supports Boolean operators and grouping. Use the more... link at the bottom of that facet to see all available subjects and also to use Boolean and grouping options. Each pass through this more window will combine selected subjects with OR. Use each pass to select similar subjects (you'll see ones with minor differences since these terms come from multiple providers). Then continue the search to return to the newly revised Summon search results screen. Use the link again for the next pass through the subject list (which has now been narrowed to reflect the new set of results).

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