Boolean Logic (Search)

Boolean Logic used when searching documents.

Boolean logic operators are “connectors” that allow users to connect multiple keywords or phrases in a single search to narrow or widen the search. These operators can include AND, OR, NOT, and W/N. Sometimes referred to as “Boolean search“, the more correct usage of the term is Boolean logic or operators, for example as used in a keyword search

How is Boolean Logic related to eDiscovery?

Attorneys and litigation support professionals use Boolean operators when performing eDiscovery keyword searches to help cull and filter volumes of documents during discovery. The use of Boolean operators limits searches to find only those terms or phrases included in the Boolean logic. For example, imagine needing to find an email when reviewing communications between your client and the opposing party on a certain date. To limit the search results to find more accurate emails, you could use a Boolean operator to connect “party_email_1” AND “party_email_2” AND “date” to bring up only those email communications that are between those two people and that fall within the date range needed.

Here are some other examples:

Apple AND Pear (a document would need to have BOTH the word Apple and the word Pear)
Apple OR Pear (a document would need EITHER Apple or Pear)
Apple NOT Pear (a document would need the word Apple BUT ONLY IF the word Pear isn't in the document at all)
Apple W/5 Pear (a document would need the word Apple to occur within five words of Pear - "an apple a day makes the pear jealous" would return, as would "pear salad and apple pie")

Always check with your software administrator to find out which Boolean operators your eDiscovery software supports.