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ERIC Number: EJ1178106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0870
The Boolean Is Dead, Long Live the Boolean! Natural Language versus Boolean Searching in Introductory Undergraduate Instruction
Lowe, M. Sara; Maxson, Bronwen K.; Stone, Sean M.; Miller, Willie; Snajdr, Eric; Hanna, Kathleen
College & Research Libraries, v79 n4 p517-534 May 2018
Boolean logic can be a difficult concept for first-year, introductory students to grasp. This paper compares the results of Boolean and natural language searching across several databases with searches created from student research questions. Performance differences between databases varied. Overall, natural search language is at least as good as Boolean searching. With evidence that students struggle to grasp Boolean searching, and may not use it even after instruction, it could be left out of first-year instruction, freeing up valuable class time to focus on concepts such as question development and source evaluation. As the Framework for Information Literacy does not specifically address Boolean operators, the authors suggest it should have less prominence in first-year Information Literacy instruction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A