"LexisNexis" LexisNexis Home Products & Services Customer Service Center Company Information Alliance Partners LexisNexis Bookstore ""Search
 
 
 
What's Inside
Using LexisNexis
Research Tips
Helpful Publications
LexisNexis at lexis.com Tour
News & Business
Associate Lifestyle
Career Consultant
 
Subscribe to LexisNexis Associate Update
Subscribe to LexisNexis Associate Update
Subscribe to LexisNexis Associate Update
LexisNexis for First-Year Associates
First-Year Associates Home > Using LexisNexis > Research Tips
Using LexisNexis
Research Tips

Who Was George Boole? Certainly No Fool!

From fairly humble beginnings, George Boole taught himself several languages, Greek among them, and became the first Professor of Mathematics and the Dean of Science at Queen's College in County Cork, Ireland. On a personal note, he married Mary Everest, a niece of Sir George Everest (from whom the mountain’s name was derived).

In 1854, Boole published "An investigation into Laws of Thought, on which are found the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities." Boole reduced logic to simple algebra, incorporating the logic into mathematics. Constructing an analogy between the symbols used in algebra and symbols that represent logical forms, George Boole, the son of a cobbler, developed Boolean algebra. This development, many years later, found a profoundly useful application in Terms and Connectors search logic used on the LexisNexis® services.


Enhanced Search Form

It's easy to forget all the Search Connectors available or which might work best for a particular circumstance. So we've displayed the Search Connectors right alongside the search form allowing you to see quick definitions and examples of each by simply hovering over the connector. You can also click on connectors to conveniently add them directly to your search.

Click on any Search Connector to see a more detailed definition and examples.  

Search Connectors

Use connectors to show relationships between search terms. (Hover over a connector for description. Click a connector to add to search.)

Syntax

Definition

and

and

or

or

w/N

within N words

not w/N

not within N words

pre /N

precedes by N words

w/p

in same paragraph

not w/p

not in same paragraph

w/seg

in same segment

not w/seg

not in same segment

w/s

in same sentence

not w/s

not in same sentence

and not

and not

Using AND

Because AND can connect terms that are far apart from one another or in different segments, searches using AND usually finds more documents than searches using the W/n connector. As a general rule, use AND when it doesn't matter where your search terms appear in a document. Using the AND connector can also help you get started on your research, until you begin to find more specific concepts and terms for your search.

EXAMPLE:    land trust AND Ohio

If you're searching for a phrase that contains the word "and," remember to omit the word "and" from your search request. Otherwise, "and" is interpreted as a connector. For example, if you're looking for "profit and loss" statements, your search request might be

EXAMPLE:    profit loss

Use the And connector to search for multiple terms in abstracts.
EXAMPLE:    satellite AND launch!

Using OR
Use the OR connector to find documents that contain either or both of the terms or phrases linked by OR and to link search terms that are synonyms, antonyms, alternative spellings, or abbreviations.

EXAMPLE:    lawyer OR counsel OR attorney
                                                regulated OR deregulated
                                                takeover OR take over
                                                international business machines OR i.b.m. OR ibm

Using /n or W/n
Use the /n connector to find documents with search terms that appear within "n" words of each other in any order. The value of "n" can be any number up to 255. Use /n to join terms and phrases that express parts of a single idea or to join closely associated ideas.

EXAMPLE:    william w/3 hearst

This search retrieves documents containing the terms William Randolf Hearst; William R. Hearst; and Hearst, William R.

There is no magic formula for choosing the value of n, but here are some guidelines:

Use /3 - w/5 to find words in a phrase
Use /15 to find words in a sentence
Use /50 to find words in a paragraph
Using Multiple W/n or /n Connectors

Using NOT /n 
The NOT /n finds documents in which at least one occurrence of the first search term is not within n searchable words of the second term. The second term need not appear in the document at all, but if it does, all occurrences of the second term must be the specified number of searchable words away from at least one occurrence of the first word.

EXAMPLE:    rico NOT W/2 puerto

This search finds documents that have at least one occurrence of "rico" (possibly standing for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) that has no occurrences of the term "puerto" within two searchable words of it.

PRE/n
Use the PRE/n connector to find documents in which the first search term precedes the second by not more than the stated number of words. As with W/n, both words must be in the same segment. PRE/n is primarily useful in situations where a different word order significantly alters meaning. For example, "summary judgment" is significantly different from "judgment summary."

EXAMPLE:    pay PRE/3 television OR tv

This search finds documents in which "pay" precedes "television" by three or fewer words.

Using /p or W/p
Use the W/p or /p connectors interchangeably to find documents with search terms that appear within the same paragraph. You can also use W/p when you want your search terms to have a general relationship to each other.

EXAMPLE:    rule 11 /p sanction

This search finds "rule" within the same paragraph as "sanction."

Using NOT /P
The NOT W/P connector finds documents in which at least one occurrence of the first search term appears in a paragraph that does not contain the second term. The second term need not be in the document at all, but if it is, all occurrences of the second term must be in different paragraphs than at least one occurrence of the first term.

EXAMPLE:    cable NOT /P television

This search finds documents that have at least one occurrence of "cable" in a paragraph that has no occurrences of the term "television".

Using /seg
The /seg connector finds documents in which both of your search terms appear within the same segment. Terms joined with W/seg can occur together in any segment.

EXAMPLE:    opec /SEG gasoline

This search finds documents in which "opec" and "gasoline" are in the same segment:

W/seg is slightly more restrictive than the AND connector. In the example above, a document in which "opec" is in the headline and "gasoline" is in the text would not be found by this search, because the terms are not in the same segment.

Using NOT seg
The NOT /seg finds documents that have at least one segment in which the first search term appears, but not the other search term.

EXAMPLE:    tank NOT /SEG m1

This search finds documents in which there is at least one segment with the term "tank" but not the term "m1":

Using /s or W/s
Use the /s connector to find documents with search terms that appear within the same sentence. You can also use /s when you want a close relationship between terms without specifying an exact proximity.

EXAMPLE:    sanction /s frivolous

This finds "sanction" within the same sentence as "frivolous."

Using NOT /S
The NOT W/S connector finds documents in which at least one occurrence of the first search term appears in a sentence that does not contain the second term. The second term need not be in the document at all, but if it is, all occurrences of the second term must be in different sentences than at least one occurrence of the first word.

EXAMPLE:    market NOT /S share

This search finds documents that have at least one occurrence of "market" in a sentence that has no occurrences of the term "share."

Using AND NOT 

Use the AND NOT connector to find documents in which a search term or phrase is to be excluded.

EXAMPLE:    trust AND NOT charitable

This finds documents where the term "trust" occurs but the word "charitable" does not.
 
Email this page to a colleague Printer-friendly page
   


   

LexisNexis Global Home      Site Map     Contact Us

 Terms & Conditions     Privacy & Security     Copyright © LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.