LexisNexis Search Basics

CUNY J-School Research Center

Your Search

1. How do I choose search terms? Think about the words that must be included to help you find what you need. Nouns are the basic keywords you should start with. Think: names, title, place, event, etc.

~ Lexis reads word next to each other as a phrase: so herald towers reads as “herald towers”

~ and is the most important connecting word you can use, start by separating words with an and – ex.: citywide and payroll

2. Choose date range, default is “all dates”.

3. Choose your source, “all news” is a good option. If you want a specific publication, type the name into the box “By Name”.

4. To combine sources, click Find Sources, where it says select source. A good one for local news is “New York Sources.”

Seven Important Operators

hlead (citytime and payroll) searches headline/lead paragraph

byline (thomas l. friedman) searches author name

! replaces an infinite number of letters, ex.: legis! = legislate, legislator, legislation, etc.

w/# locate terms within a certain number of words near each another

or search for either term: kenneth thompson and (lawyer or attorney)

atleast4 (friedman) searches for at least 4 (can be any #) mentions of a word, good for profile searches

length(>900) searches for articles greater than 900 words in length

***LexisNexis Commands at-a-glance sheet here.

Viewing Results

You can sort your results by publication date or oldest to newest. Results are categorized on the left by type of publication, etc.

On the top right, you can search for terms within your results to refine them.

On top, edit your search terms or start a whole new search.

Also on the top right (just below search results), you can print, email or download the documents you choose.

When you click on the save/disc icon to download documents, you can save them as word docs or pdfs, and make sure that you are only getting the items you’ve chosen. If you want them all, however, make sure the view is set as “full document.” Hit red download button.