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NOT Operator (!) used with #+ Produces Unexpected Results

NOT Operator (!) used with #+ Produces Unexpected Results

In most EMu searches, the NOT operator (!) is used to request everything that does not match a specific condition. For example, !Asian could be used to request only objects that do not have Asian in the Department field.

Including the exclamation mark in a query on a branch of the Thesaurus (using #+) does not produce an error, but does not provide the anticipated results. This could lead users to believe that they have retrieved a desired set of records when in fact that list does not match the intended query.

!#+Musical T&E, Percussion  -   returns no records. EMu interprets this to be a search for NOT “#+Musical T&E, Percussion” as if the #+ was part of the term.

#+!Musical T&E, Percussion  -   ignores the exclamation mark and produces the same results as #+Musical T&E, Percussion would.

Most NOT queries can be handled through Additional Search or by using #- and deselecting undesired terms. While those procedures are somewhat more cumbersome than I would prefer, I am mostly concerned that this functionality will mislead users especially in more complex queries.

Does anyone else find this to be concerning or, at least, counter-intuitive?

Will Scott
Museum & Database Consulting

Will Scott (Museum & Database Consultant)
Museum & Database Consultant
37 Posts
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