|Keyword Searches: an Overview|
The general rule of thumb when entering a keyword search of more than one word is to use logical operators ("connectors") to connect the terms:
AND. Using the logical connector AND between terms narrows a search by requiring that all terms be present in each record retrieved. Adding AND to a search generally reduces the number of records retrieved.
OR. Using the logical connector OR between terms broadens a search by adding terms to the search query. Use OR to add synonyms or similar terms to a search. Adding OR to a search generally increases the number of records retrieved.
AND NOT. The logical connector AND NOT narrows a search by eliminating records in which the term after AND NOT appears. Adding AND NOT to a search generally reduces the number of records retrieved.
W/n. Links search words and phrases to create concepts. The letter n stands for a number from 1 to 255. W/n does not specify a word order.
If you do not use any connectors, your search will automatically be executed as a phrase. So if you type in acid rain as a search term, LexisNexis® Congressional will find only records where the word acid appears right before rain.
You don't have to worry about capitalization in your search terms (for example, both Los Angeles and los angeles will be searched the same).
For a more detailed exploration of connectors, refer to Connectors: Reference Guide.
Often there are variations of your search terms that you would like to retrieve. For example, searching the word child will not find the word children, although this term might be relevant to your search.
To make your search more effective, you can search for word variations using the asterisk (*) as a wildcard symbol. An asterisk (*) replaces one letter, can be used more than once in a word, and can be used anywhere except as the first letter of a word. For example, searching on the term wom*n will locate records containing both woman and women.
Use an exclamation mark (!) as a truncation to replace more than one letter at the end of a search term. You can only use this symbol once in any word. For example, searching on the term Ma! will locate records containing the terms Mary, Matthew, marine and so on.
For a more on wildcard characters, refer to Using Wildcard Characters.