Introduction to the lexis nexis services for schools of library information science
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Introduction to the LEXIS-NEXIS Services for Schools of Library & Information Science. Prepared by: Carol S. Johnson LEXIS-NEXIS Academic & Library Services Manager, Library & Information Science Education. Can use same search logic across services News sources easy to understand

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Introduction to the lexis nexis services for schools of library information science l.jpg

Introduction to the LEXIS-NEXIS ServicesforSchools of Library & Information Science

Prepared by: Carol S. Johnson

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic & Library Services

Manager, Library & Information Science Education

Learn using news sources l.jpg

Can use same search logic across services

News sources easy to understand

Make searching interesting and fun

Three News libraries

NEWS: all news sources

REGNWS: regional news, newspapers

TOPNWS: last two weeks news

Learn Using News Sources

Using traditional lexis nexis l.jpg

Client software

“Classic” interface

Underlying organization and structure for all interfaces

Aids in understanding why and how of L-N functionality, and some of the “quirks”

Using Traditional LEXIS-NEXIS

Organization of services l.jpg

Services structured by organizing databases into LIBRARIES and FILES

Same structure beneath all platforms





Organization of Services

Organization of services5 l.jpg

A LIBRARY is a group of related information and FILES

A LIBRARY may contain information

of a certain TYPE,

on a specific TOPIC ,

or for a specific GEOGRAPHIC region

Organization of Services

Libraries by type l.jpg

NEWS Library: and FILES



Wire Services

Broadcast transcripts


REGNWS Library: Regional News

TOPNWS Library: Recent News (2 weeks)

Libraries by TYPE

Libraries by topic l.jpg

Different and FILEStypes on same topic

GENFED - Federal Case Law, Statutes

COMPNY -- Company information

ENVIRN -- Environmental information

SPORTS -- Sports news, publications, bios

Libraries by TOPIC

Libraries by geographic area l.jpg

Different types and FILES of info from same region:

North and South America



Asia Pacific

Some contain non-English language sources

Libraries by GEOGRAPHIC Area

What s in a library l.jpg

Each and FILESLIBRARY contains FILES

TWO types of FILES:


Documents from a single publication, i.e The New York Times is in the NYT file

Materials from one publisher, ex. ABCNEW file contains transcripts from many ABC News shows, including World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, 20/20, Good Morning America

What’s in a LIBRARY?

What s in a library10 l.jpg

GROUP FILE has multiple sources and FILES

Large group files: lots of sources

all full-text sources are in ALLNWS file

all newspapers are in the PAPERS file

Small group file: small number of sources

Indiana newspapers in INNWS file

What’s in a LIBRARY?

Organization of services11 l.jpg


The text from the source

DOCUMENTS may also be referred to as:




Nomenclature varies by source

We’ll use DOCUMENTS for consistency

Organization of Services

Organization of services12 l.jpg

DOCUMENTS consist of WORDS, may be: and FILES

Alpha: texas or san antonio

Numeric: 99.44 or 2000

Alpha-numeric: 401K or Y2K

In the LEXIS-NEXIS services, a WORD is any group of characters with a space on either side

Organization of Services

Choosing a library and file l.jpg

Look for area of interest, you may need to use more than ONE library or file

Choose smallest FILE that will give desired results: DON’T search ALLNWS (all news), when you only want a New York Times (NYT) article

In most LIBRARIES, you can combine FILES, separating with commas, for a custom search

Choosing a LIBRARY and FILE

Search options l.jpg

Boolean library or file, using TERMS & CONNECTORS

Essentially the same as other Boolean searching but language, operators and functionality are different in LEXIS-NEXIS

FREESTYLE ™ feature; plain language searching (natural language)

GUIDED FORM: LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe, LEXIS-NEXIS Universe, based on underlying Boolean search

Search Options

Search options15 l.jpg

Research Software 7.1.2 library or file

Customizable tool bars

Gives options for Searching and Viewing in “Classic” or “Graphical” mode

My favorite:

Search Classic

View Graphical

Search Options

Unique searching capabilities l.jpg

When using LEXIS-NEXIS, user is searching library or fileFULL TEXT of documents, not indexes or abstracts

Can restrict search to specific portion (called SEGMENT) if user wishes

Use same search logic through services, even with different interfaces

Unique Searching Capabilities

Boolean searching l.jpg

Original LEXIS-NEXIS search logic library or file

Still used most by many customers

Allows precision searching

Favorite of most information professionals, librarians and researchers

This is what every librarian and future librarian should learn first!

Boolean Searching

Boolean search basics l.jpg

Select an appropriate LIBRARY library or file

Choose an appropriate FILE

Select the smallest FILE that will give the results you need

Enter a SEARCH composed of WORDS

Don’t be intimidated by LIBRARY/FILE acronyms; type number to the right of Library or FILE name to see description

Boolean Search Basics

Boolean search basics19 l.jpg

Choose library or file appropriate search words to define what you’re looking for

Simplify the search words

Connect the search words

Restrict your search results to a particular time frame (date restriction)

Confine your search to a part of a document (segment searching: segment = field)

Boolean Search Basics

What s a word l.jpg

A group of characters with a space on either side; may be alpha or numeric; i.e. _XXX_

Most punctuation is recognized as a space, i.e. John D. Rockefeller, 401-K

An exception is the “embedded period”

(a period not having a space on either side, which is viewed as a character)

i.e. A.J. Foyt, 99.44

What’s a WORD?

Words to avoid l.jpg

NOISE WORDS alpha or numeric; i.e. _XXX_ : so called because they are so common inclusion adds no value

Personal pronouns (he, she, they)

Most forms of the verb “to be” (be, is, was)

Some conjunctions (and, as, because)


words used as part of search logic (and, or) or

to identify features (lexsee, autocite)

Words to Avoid

Choose search words l.jpg

Make a list of words that describe topic of interest alpha or numeric; i.e. _XXX_

Include alternatives (synonyms, antonyms)

Avoid words that are too general

Think as if you were writing the document; what words would you include

Adjacent words are treated as a phrase

Choose Search Words

Plurals possessives l.jpg

Automatically searches for plural and possessive forms of most regular words, i.e. if word is made plural by adding s or es or changing final letter y to ies; for example: boy finds boys, boy’s, boys’

Does not search for irregular plurals; i.e. if word ends in us or is or other irregular plural form; child does not find children

Plurals & Possessives

Compound words l.jpg

Compound words using a hyphen are sometimes treated as a single word, but not always

Be safe: enter both variations, i.e. anti-trust and antitrust

Authors aren’t necessarily consistent!

Compound Words

Simplify search words l.jpg

Universal characters single word, but not alwayslet you include all variations of a word without entering each

*holds a space for one character; may be used in middle or at end of a word; wom*n finds woman, women, woman’s and women’s

! may be used only at the end of a word root to find that root plus all variations; recycl! finds recycle, recycling, recyclable, etc..

Simplify Search Words

Join words connectors l.jpg

OR single word, but not always - finds either or both search terms; used for synonyms, antonyms or alternative expressions

g.m. or gm or general motors

bush or gore

stock or share or equity


Join words connectors27 l.jpg

W/ single word, but not alwaysn - proximity connector; finds documents with words that are within some number (n) of each other (does not work across segments)

bush w/10 cocaine

Tip: ALWAYS use betweenfirst and last name, george w/2 bush; bill w/2 clinton


Join words connectors28 l.jpg

AND single word, but not always - both search terms in each document

clinton and gore

general motors and market share

Order of operation:


W/n (Remember n = number; n = 1-255)



Date searching l.jpg

On a date: single word, but not alwaysdate is

Spell out the word isor

use the arithmetic operator =

date is 2000

date = January 15, 2000

date = 1/2000

NOTE: System assumes two-digit years are within past 100 years

Date Searching

Date searching30 l.jpg

After a date: single word, but not alwaysdate aft

Abbreviate out the word aftor

use the arithmetic operator > (greater than)

date aft 1999

date > Aug. 19, 1999

date > 10/99

NOTE: Month names and numbers are equivalents; use the American convention

Date Searching

Date searching31 l.jpg

Before a date: single word, but not alwaysdate bef

Abbreviate out the word befor

use the arithmetic operator < (less than)

date aft 1999

date > August 19, 1999

date > 8-99

NOTE: Systems recognizes either dash or slash

Date Searching

Date searching32 l.jpg

Combine operators to search single word, but not always between two dates

date aft AND date bef or

date > and date <

Date aft 1993 and date bef Sept. 1995

NOTE: Aft 6/30/99 does not include that date; aft 2000 would get nothing now!

Date Searching

Special operators l.jpg

Parentheses ( ) single word, but not always: use to assure that system groups words separated by a connector

For example: (channel w/2 tunnel) or chunnel or (ken! w/2 starr) or (bill w/2 clinton)

Quotation marks “ ”: use to search reserved words when reserved word is first or only word in the search

For example: “lexsee”

Special Operators

Running a search l.jpg

Sign on single word, but not always

Enter ID (on card attached to tent card)

Enter CLIENT ID to identify search


Choose FILE

Enter SEARCH TERMS (transmit = Enter)

Retrieve RESULTS

Running a Search

Display and review results l.jpg

LEXIS-NEXIS gives options: single word, but not always

Buttons on Tool Bar

Pull Down Menus

Short Cuts (Dot Commands: on back of ID card)

Choose what works best for you!

Display and Review Results

Displaying search results l.jpg

KWIC: search terms highlighted, with a small block of text on either side (.kw)

FULL: full-text of the document (.fu)

CITE: bibliographic list of documents (.ci)

VAR KWIC: larger block of text than KWIC, can be customized (.vk or .vkn)

SEGMTS: views portion of document (.se)

LEAD: lead paragraph of news stories (.le)

Displaying Search Results

Reviewing search results l.jpg

For most sources (including news), results display in on either side (reverse chronological order

Next page (.np)

Previous page (.pp)

First page (.fp)

Next document (.nd)

Previous document (.pd)

First Document (.fd)

Reviewing Search Results

Other commands l.jpg

New Search on either side ( (.ns): same LIBRARY & FILE

Change FILE (.cf): keep LIBRARY selected

ChangeLIBRARY (.cl): choose different one

Segments command (.se), has three uses:

1) After search to display in SEGMENTS format or

2) After file selection to view SEGMENTS to search

3) at FILE screen, get FILE PRICES (not in MLS account)

Sign off(.so): exit the LEXIS-NEXIS services

Other Commands

Running a search39 l.jpg

Search #1: on either side (

Library: NEWS


Type search into Command Line of software

Search: san antonio and american library association or ala

Save search for future use: .keep

Running a Search

Running a search40 l.jpg

Search #2: on either side (

Library: NEWS

File: 90DAYS

Search: indiana or ohio or michigan w/10 snow

Review results using KWIC, FULL & CITE

Navigate results using NEXT PAGE, NEXT DOCUMENT, PREVIOUS PAGE, etc.

Running a Search

Modifying a search l.jpg

When you don’t get the results you want: on either side (

Modification changes the original search

Type m and press ENTER; search will display

Type a connector, usually AND, followed by new search words and press ENTER

Type .log; click on san antonio search

Modify to add: AND ala w/5 president

Modifying a Search

Using the focus feature l.jpg

FOCUS™ on either side (does not change original search

“A search within a search”

Always narrows results of answer set

FOCUS™ multiple times on same search

Retains original answer set

Command: focus or .fo

Using the FOCUS™ Feature

Using the focus feature43 l.jpg

Type on either side (.log, click on snow search

FOCUS on ski! condition

Only highlights terms in your focus search

Can FOCUS again, or execute EXIT FOCUS command (.ef)

Using the FOCUS™ Feature

Using the focus feature44 l.jpg

To highlight original search terms and focus terms, use on either side (Ctrl Q to bring original search terms into Command Line

Add focus terms, can use connectors, make changes to original terms & connectors

type: and ski! condition

.ef to exit

Using the FOCUS™ Feature

When you can t use focus l.jpg

Although FOCUS is available in most of the services, it can’t be used:

Answer set has more than 1,000 documents (can’t retrieve > 1,000 documents in educational menu)

QUOTE library (not in educational menu)

When you CAN’T use FOCUS

Modify or focus which to use l.jpg

Use can’t be used:Modify to:

Start with broad search

Add additional words

Refine search

Save retyping search to make small changes

Add a date restriction

Expand search

Use FOCUS to:

Run new search words against current answer set

Highlight different words in document than in the original search

Save original search and return to it

Modify or FOCUS - which to use

Segment searching l.jpg

A can’t be used:SEGMENT is a part of a document

SEGMENTS vary depending on SOURCE

SEGMENTS for NEWS documents might include HEADLINE, BYLINE, COMPANY, etc.

Proximity connectors (w/n) do not work across SEGMENTS

Segment Searching

Segment searching48 l.jpg

Great for precision searching can’t be used:

Find words in a specific part of document

NEWS;90DAYS;hlead(ala or american library)

Browse documents

modify or focus, if you choose

Find pictures of Barbara Bush’s dog

NEWS;ALLNWS;graphic(millie and dog)

Segment Searching

Saving your search results l.jpg

Print one screen at a time can’t be used:

Download screen by screen using “session record” feature

Print or download an entire document

Print or download a list of documents

Full document print and/or download will occur after you sign off the online session

Saving Your Search Results

Print now online printing l.jpg

Permits print or download requests to be completed while you are still online.

No more waiting for sign off

After using Print Doc or Print All and confirming request, invoke Print Now command by entering .pn

Follow messages on screen

Print Now - Online Printing

Print now online printing51 l.jpg

Research session is suspended while request is delivered are still online.

Once print delivery is completed, a Print Summary screen displays

Press ENTER at the Print Summary screen to return to the place in your research at which you invoked Print Now

Print Now - Online Printing

The online guide l.jpg

Description of library & file contents are still online.

Lists of sources in group files

Dates of coverage

Frequency of updates

Segments within sources

Name & address of publisher

Library and files where source is found

The Online GUIDE

How to use guide l.jpg

GUIDE is two related features: are still online.

The GUIDE (.gu) command

Provides a description of the library or file in which you are searching

To use, type .gu after choosing library or file

The GUIDE library

Use LINK markers or SEARCH entire GUIDE

How to use GUIDE

When you need help l.jpg are still online.

Click on Customer Service

Customer Service Knowledge Base

Source Locator

Download Software

Product Literature

When You Need Help

Strengths of lexis nexis l.jpg

Most breadth and depth of any online service are still online.

Search logic same in all parts of service

Full text searching

Many feature/function options

Permits broad searching

Allows retrieval of very precise results

Strengths of LEXIS-NEXIS

Lexis nexis academic universe l.jpg

The power of LEXIS-NEXIS in an easy-to-use web interface are still online.

Accessible through most web browsers

Sold for campus-wide use; remote access via proxy servers

May be used by students, faculty & staff

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe57 l.jpg

News are still online.


Legal Research



LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe58 l.jpg

Combines power of L-N with guided form interface are still online.

End-user oriented, focus on undergraduate research needs

Provide relevant, manageable answer set

Each form has underlying Boolean search

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe59 l.jpg

Don’t need to know structure or organization of L-N to get good results!

Easy source selection via pull-down menus

Easy date restriction:

- Preconfigured date ranges

- Radio buttons for customized dates

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe60 l.jpg

Basic form good results!

Keyword: entry required; searches only in HEADLINE and LEAD PARAGRAPH

Additional terms: AND connector built in; searches FULL TEXT

Can use Boolean operators in either box

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe61 l.jpg

More options good results!

Lets user customized search

Restrict terms to specific SEGMENT, or


Restrict to one or more publications

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe62 l.jpg

Multiple options for HELP, including good results!

On screen explanations

“How do I?” and “HELP” buttons



Source list links

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe63 l.jpg

Not as robust in sources or features as LEXIS-NEXIS Universe or, but still a very powerful service

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

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Subscribed to by all institutions with MLS, except: or, but still a

Clark Atlanta U

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe

Lexis nexis academic universe subscribed to by all institutions with mls except l.jpg

Clark Atlanta Univ. or, but still a

North Carolina Central

Pratt Institute

Rutgers University

University of Alabama (Birmingham YES; Tuscaloosa NO)

University of Hawaii

University of Iowa

University of North Texas

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe Subscribed to by all institutions with MLS, except:

Lexis nexis academic universe66 l.jpg

Should be service of choice if your school of Information Science has an Undergraduate program

Is an excellent introduction to L-N in an easy-to-use format!

It’s so easy that I use it for quick searches, especially in news sources!

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe