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Hello all,

This is not a new Boolean rule in searching PubMed. The all caps AND  
and the option of lower case or/not has been the NLM rule for quite  
some time dating back at least to the beginning or first few years of  
the decade.

Samuel L. Johnson
Library Director/Adjunct Professor
Saba University School of Medicine
Netherlands Antilles
[log in to unmask]
011-599 416 3456 ext. 237



> Thanks to all for this discussion and clarification.  I was working   
> on a lecture for a systematic review class.  I'd developed a way to   
> search for SRs in PubMed but used lower case "or" and "and".
>
> When I changed to upper case, my results were quite different.  I   
> cannot believe the counter-intuitive, illogical search rules for   
> PubMed.  I'll be sure to point this out to my class, along with a   
> comparison between the two searches and an Ovid Medline search.
>
> Helena
>
> Helena M. VonVille, MLS, MPH
> Library Director
> University of Texas School of Public Health
> Houston, TX
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> 713-500-9131
> 713-500-9125 (fax)
> ________________________________________
> From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] On   
> Behalf Of Lee Hover [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 7:06 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: The plot thickens: PubMed's all caps Boolean rule?
>
> 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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