Librarian Relations Consultant Research Tip: Helpful segments when refining large results in News content

Librarian Relations Consultant Research Tip: Helpful segments when refining large results in News content

When asked to find articles on a major company, event, issue or person, you may get an extremely large number of News articles. If you do not have specific terms to narrow your result, how can you refine the answer set? If the geographic, publication type or source filters aren’t enough, make use of segments and special search qualifiers. These can be part of your initial search or added in the SEARCH WITHIN box.

First, consider finding the main concept/name in the headline and/or lead of the articles: Hlead(Microsoft).

Next, make sure the concept/name is mentioned multiple times in the article: ATLEAST3(Microsoft).

If the result is still larger than you’d like, increase the number. For some topics/companies/names you might find yourself using ATLEAST10—keep in mind you can abbreviate it to ATL10(term).

Combine them: HLEAD(Microsoft) and atleast5(Microsoft).

Still too much?

Zero in on more substantive articles rather than news bits. Add a LENGTH segment to say you want articles of more than 500 words: LENGTH > 500.

Too much? Increase that number as well.

Use all three, and consider using Date and other restrictions in the Filters: Hlead(Microsoft) and atleast10(Microsoft) and length > 500.

Keep in mind, companies may be referred to by their full names initially in an article (e.g., Apple Computer), but throughout the remainder of the article only by a short name (Apple). For people, the same is true. Most articles with people mentioned more than once will give a first and last name initially, then refer to the person only by the last name throughout.

In such cases, you might end up with searches like this:

Hlead(apple computer) and atleast5(caps(apple)) and length > 1000

Hlead(neil /2 armstrong) and atleast3(Armstrong) and length > 500

Note the caps command which ensures the word in parentheses has at least one capitalized letter; important for any name or company title that might otherwise refer to an object.