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LexisNexis and Westlaw Compared

Prepared by James Duggan, SIU Law Library — Spring 2005


Functionality LexisNexis feature Westlaw feature
Phrase Searching
(Terms & Connectors)

"quote marks" not needed

"quote marks" needed

Phrase Searching
(Natural Language)

Use "quote marks" as Mandatory Terms to force phrase; Use a comma if you don't want a phrase

should use "quote marks"

Hyphens

hyphenated word is seen as two words

use hyphen to search for compound terms

OR

must include OR (it is not implied); words not separated by "or" (or another connector) will be read as a phrase

OR is implied by a space

Date Restriction

available

available

Search by Parts of Document (Natural Language)

Go to Mandatory Terms and restrict Within a Segment

Select Add Other Restrictions

Search by Parts of Document (Terms & Connectors)

Select Restrict Search Using Document Segments

Use Fields

Universal Character (W/L) / Wildcards (L/N)

wom*n

automatically retrieves women and woman

wom*n

automatically retrieves women and woman

Root Expander (W/L) / Wildcards (L/N)

acqui!

acqui!

Plurals

Use singular to find most plurals

Singular won't find words ending in -us, -is, or irregular words (child/children)

Use singular to find plurals for all regular and most irregular terms; in doubt, use a * or !

Viewing Results

Cite, KWIC , Full, Custom

Results List; Term & Doc arrows; in N/L can browse by Best Term

Narrowing Results

Use FOCUS feature within retrieval set by adding terms & connectors

Use LOCATE feature within retrieval set by adding terms & connectors

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