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19 Nov 2020 Author : Joyce Kirkpatrick Magruder

Knowledge & Research Consultant Tip: Use the not connector to refine results

You can utilize various forms of the not connector to find documents in which a search word, phrase or section is to be eliminated from results on Lexis and Lexis+.

  • Exclude one term or multiple terms when you enter and not before each term, or include the terms to be excluded in parenthesis separated by or.  For example, search for COVID and not vaccine or COVID and not (remdesivir or coronavac).

  • You can also use and not with proximity connectors such as not w/n, not w/s, or not w/p, enabling you to narrow down to terms not in proximity to other terms.
    • Use not w/n or not /n or not w/10 to find documents where a word or term to be excluded is not within 10 words of your search term.
    • Use not w/s to find the first term where there is no mention of the second term in a sentence.
    • Use not w/p to find the first term where there is no mention of the second within a paragraph.
  • And not can be used with document segments as well. You can exclude terms in a segment when you enter and not before the segment. For example, if you want to find cases that mention COVID, but do not have a certain party as a plaintiff or defendant, you may place the and not connector at the end of your search. For example, COVID and not name(Moderna Therapeutics), would search for COVID, but not Moderna Therapeutics as a named party in the case.
  • When including and not, not w/n, not w/s, or not w/p in your search, it should be the last connector you use in order to make sure you do not exclude any desired terms that follow.  

Effectively using the and not connector is a useful strategy to help pinpoint targeted search results on both the Lexis and Lexis+ services.