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Leave it to NLM!  Do we really want to devote that much thought to what
should require none?  I'll just use caps as always & say the heck with it.
(Actually, that's NOT what I'll say, but let's keep it clean!)

Lee Hover, D. Med. Hum.
Information Developers
Boonton Twp., NJ

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Feddern-Bekcan, Tanya
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 3:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: The plot thickens: PubMed's all caps Boolean rule?

Thanks to Cheryl Hamill from Australia for pointing this out:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/mj07/mj07_mla_qa.html

So why is NLM telling us differently?  I'd spoken to a nice NLM librarian
who swore up and down that it was still required.  Grrrr.  I don't want to
be teaching my patrons do to an extra step if they don't have to.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=helppubmed&part=pubmedhel
p#pubmedhelp.Combining_search_ter

Take care,

Tanya



Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, MLIS, AHIP, MOT, OTR/L
(<http://www.geocities.com/nqiya/libraryarticles.html>formerly Tanya
Feddern)
305.243.3999 - [log in to unmask] - 305.325.9670 (fax)

EBM Theme Director, Reference and Education Librarian, & Occupational
Therapist

Louis Calder Memorial Library @ the University of Miami Miller School of
Medicine



"A library without a librarian is a reading room."-- Jenny Garcia of the
University of Wyoming, MLS, AHIP

________________________________
From: Feddern-Bekcan, Tanya
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:06 AM
To: Medlib ([log in to unmask]); [log in to unmask];
[log in to unmask]
Subject: PubMed's all caps Boolean rule?

***cross-posted; feel free to repost***

Hello, everyone.  I spoke with a librarian at NLM a couple of days ago.  She
says that despite rumor, PubMed still requires  Boolean to be in all capital
letters.  Their documentation still states this:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=helppubmed&part=pubmedhel
p#pubmedhelp.Combining_search_ter
"Enter Boolean operators in uppercase characters to combine or exclude
search terms..."

However, this seems to only be an issue when combining two or more terms
with field tags (as shown below).  Everything else seems to work.  Could
anyone please come up with an example whereby searching with lowercase
Boolean leads to poor results?

#66<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search common cold and (vitamin c or zinc)
23:40:21        382<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#65<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search common cold and (vitamin c OR zinc)
23:40:14        382<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#64<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search common cold AND (vitamin c OR zinc)
23:40:06        382<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#71  Search Wounds and Injuries and infection  38881 hits
#70  Search Wounds and Injuries AND infection  38881 hits
#67  Search common cold AND (vitamin c or zinc) 382 hits
#66  Search common cold and (vitamin c or zinc) 382 hits
#65  Search common cold and (vitamin c OR zinc) 382 hits
#64  Search common cold AND (vitamin c OR zinc) 382 hits
#63  Search dna and multiple sclerosis 1518 hits
#62  Search dna AND multiple sclerosis 1518 hits
#61  Search dna [mh] and multiple sclerosis [mh] 0 hits
#60  Search dna [mh] AND multiple sclerosis [mh] 415 hits
#59  Search dna [mh] and crick [au] 0 hits
#58  Search dna [mh] AND crick [au] 34 hits
#57  Search arthritis not letter [pt] 186125 hits
#56  Search arthritis NOT letter [pt] 186125 hits
#55  Search #45 and #47 711 hits
#54  Search #45 AND #47 711 hits
#63<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna and multiple sclerosis
23:25:16        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#62<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna AND multiple sclerosis
23:25:09        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#61<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:42        0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#60<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:37        415<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#59<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and crick [au]  23:19:23
0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#58<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND crick [au]  23:19:18
34<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#57<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis not letter [pt]
23:18:58        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#56<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis NOT letter [pt]
23:18:52        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#63<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna and multiple sclerosis
23:25:16        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#62<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna AND multiple sclerosis
23:25:09        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#61<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:42        0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#60<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:37        415<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#59<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and crick [au]  23:19:23
0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#58<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND crick [au]  23:19:18
34<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#57<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis not letter [pt]
23:18:58        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#56<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis NOT letter [pt]
23:18:52        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#63<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna and multiple sclerosis
23:25:16        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#62<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna AND multiple sclerosis
23:25:09        1518<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#61<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:42        0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#60<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND multiple sclerosis [mh]
23:22:37        415<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#59<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] and crick [au]  23:19:23
0<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#58<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search dna [mh] AND crick [au]  23:19:18
34<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#57<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis not letter [pt]
23:18:58        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#56<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search arthritis NOT letter [pt]
23:18:52        186125<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#55<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search #45 and #47      23:13:15
711<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
#54<UrlBlockedError.aspx>       Search #45 AND #47      23:13:08
711<UrlBlockedError.aspx>
If this is only an issue when combining two or more field tags, since we
don't teach our patrons to search with field tags, I'm seriously considering
having them use lowercase Boolean like nearly all the other databases do.

Take care,

Tanya

Tanya Feddern-Bekcan, MLIS, AHIP, MOT, OTR/L
(<http://www.geocities.com/nqiya/libraryarticles.html>formerly Tanya
Feddern)
305.243.3999 - [log in to unmask] - 305.325.9670 (fax)

EBM Theme Director, Reference and Education Librarian, & Occupational
Therapist

Louis Calder Memorial Library @ the University of Miami Miller School of
Medicine



"A library without a librarian is a reading room."-- Jenny Garcia of the
University of Wyoming, MLS, AHIP


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