Report:DialogClassic and Classic Web/Search Syntax/Allowed Operators/Boolean and Proximity Operators

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Boolean and Proximity Operators

The Dialog command line system offers users the basic AND, OR, and NOT Boolean operators as well as a variety of useful proximity and truncation operators.


Boolean Operators

The following Boolean Operators are available when searching on Dialog:

  • OR -- The plus sign (+) may also be used in place of OR
  • AND -- The asterisk character may also be used in place of AND
  • NOT


Proximity Operators

Proximity operators, commonly found in patent search systems, are available on Dialog. Proximity operators allow a searcher to specify within a query that one or more search terms be found within a particular distance to one or more other terms. Following is a list and description of the each of the available proximity operators.

  • (W) This operator is used to return terms that are adjacent to each other and in order in which they are entered in the query.
  • (N) This operator may be used to return terms that are adjacent but in any order.
  • (S) This operator will return terms that are in the same subfield as defined by the database. In full-text files, this operator returns terms that are in the same paragraph.
  • (F) This operator returns only terms that are in the same datafield, as defined by the particular database being searched.
  • (L) This operator returns only terms that in the same descriptor unit as defined by the database, such as ASTHMA — DIAGNOSIS. This can be thought of as a “heading-subheading” subject descriptor.
  • (T) This operator is used when chemical name searching in certain files to return one part of a chemical name with another part.

Also, proximity operators may be combined with the Boolean operator NOT, in the following way:

SELECT ECONOMIC(NOT W)RECOVERY SELECT BULIMIA(NOT L)PATHOLOGY

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