Search Connectors, Wildcards and Commands
Developing a Search Explore by Topic AND AND NOT OR WILDCARDS
W/n PRE/n W/s W/p NOT W/n NOT W/s NOT W/p
Using the AND Connector
ATLEAST ALLCAPS CAPS NOCAPS PLURAL SINGULAR
Where you are searching for terms to be located in the same document or document section, use the connector of and in between the terms. Example: To find cases dealing with assault and robbery: assault and robbery in the Catchwords or Search Terms box Example: To find a case when you know both of the parties's names. eg Stephens v Lewis: stephens and lewis in the Case Name box If you need to locate the terms in a closer proximity, use the connectors of w/n, pre/n, or w/p. Note: If you do not use any connectors, then the search will default to locate the terms as a phrase. Example: To find the phrase duty of care: duty of care Note: If you use " " around the terms it will still locate the terms as a phrase, but it will prevent the autosearching of plural terms, or 's of the terms. Finding phrases containing the word "and" or the word "or" If you search terms include the term "and" where it is important to locate the actual word "and" and not be used as a connector, enclose the whole phrase within " ". Example: To find the phrase "profit and loss": "profit and loss" An alternative is to use the proximity searches of w/2 or pre/2. Example: To find the legislation title Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act: property agents w/2 motor dealers will find the two phrases within 2 terms of each other, taking into account if one of the terms is and.
Using the OR Connector Use the or connector to find documents that contain either or both of the terms or phrases linked by or. Use the or connector to link search words that are synonyms, antonyms, alternative spellings, or abbreviations. Examples: Synonyms child or juvenile or young person Antonyms regulated or deregulated Alternatives takeover or take over Abbreviations NSW or New South Wales The search looks for the words or phrases linked by the or connector, not the word "or" itself.
Using the W/n Connector Use the w/n connector to find documents containing your search terms within "n" words of each other. The value of "n" can be any number up to 255. Use w/n to join words and phrases that express parts of a single idea or to join closely-associated ideas. Terms or phrases linked by w/n must be in the same document section (a specific part of a document). Either term may appear first. Note: w/n connectors cannot be used in combination with w/p connectors. For example, the following search request tells the research software to find documents in which both words appear in the same segment, within three or fewer words of one another. Example: To locate the phrase including the terms "director" and "duty": director w/5 duty will find director before or after duty, within 5 terms of each other Note: This example will also locate the term directors, director's, and duties, due to the autoplural and 's searching. Specifying the value of "n" There is no magic formula for choosing the value of n, but these guidelines may prove useful: Choose this:
for search terms to appear:
W/3 - W/5
in approximately the same phrase
in approximately the same sentence
in approximately the same paragraph
CAUTION: Although you may choose a number for n as large as 255, you may wish to choose a number less than 100. Choosing a number greater than 100 is likely to retrieve documents in which your search words are used in unrelated contexts. Using Multiple W/n Connectors If w/n connectors have the same number, they operate from left to right. If they have different numbers, the smaller number operates first. The following search finds "airport" within five words of "noise" and then some form of the word "abate" within five words of either "airport" or "noise": airport w/5 noise w/5 abat! The following search first looks for documents in which forms of the word "assign" appear within five words of "collateral," then finds occurrences of "lease" within 8 words of the forms of "assign": lease w/8 assign! w/5 collateral The search above finds documents that contain all three search terms, and the search terms would be within 13 searchable words of one another.
Using the AND NOT Connector Use the and not connector to find documents in which a search word or phrase is to be excluded. Example: To find where the phrase "winding up" appears, but not the term "voluntary": winding up and not voluntary Because the exclusion covers the entire document, a document would be excluded if the word "voluntary" appears anywhere in the document. Using AND NOT with document section searches When searching with a document section (ie part of the document eg Case Name), you may use and not with less risk. Most of the popular document sections are already displayed on the search forms. Otherwise this information can be located in the Source Information screens relating to the product. Example: To find cases dealing with asbestos compensation and not James Hardie as one of the parties? asbestos w/12 compensation and not CASE-NAME (james hardie) This restricts the operation of and not to the CASE-NAME segment. Putting AND NOT last If you include and not in your search, it should be the last connector you use. Otherwise it may produce undesired results.
Using the PRE/n Connector Use the pre/n connector to find documents in which the first search word precedes the second by not more than the stated number of words. As with w/n, both words must be in the same segment. Example: To find the terms "opinion" and "evidence" where the word opinion is only found preceding the word evidence: opinion pre/2 evidence pre/n is primarily useful in situations where a different word order significantly alters meaning. For example, "summary judgment" is significantly different from "judgment summary."
Using the W/s (Within Sentence) Connector Use the w/s connector to find documents with search terms that appear within the same sentence. You may also use w/s when you want a close relationship between words without specifying an exact proximity. For example, the following search finds "adopt" and all variations within the same sentence as "child" and all variations: adopt! w/s child The following example finds "circumstances" within the same sentence as "mitigat!": circumstances w/s mitigat! Note: w/s connector cannot be used in combination with the w/n connector but can be used in combination with the w/p connector.
Using the W/p (Within Paragraph) Connector Use the w/p connector to find documents with search terms that appear within the same paragraph. Example: To find references to relocation of a child in a case: relocat! w/p child The following example finds relocate, relocating, relocation and child or children within the same paragraph. Note: The connector of w/p is useful when searching in the References to Legislation section in the Case related products such as CaseBase, Australian Current Law Reporter, and the full text judgments. Example: To locate cases where the Corporations Act and section 588G has been referred to: corporations act w/p 588g Note: W/p connectors cannot be used in combination with W/n connectors.
Using the NOT W/n Connector The not w/n connector finds documents in which the first search word is found. The second word need not be in the document, but if it is, it cannot be within 'n' words of the first word. Example: To find cases where there is a personal injury but not as a result of a motor accident: injury not w/12 motor accident
Using the NOT W/s Connector The not w/s connector finds documents where the terms you specify appear, but not within the same sentence.
Using the NOT W/P Connector The not w/p connector finds documents where the terms you specify appear, but not within the same paragraph.
Using the ATLEAST Command Use atleast to search for terms‘at least’ so many times in a document. Use atleast when you want only documents that contain an in-depth discussion on a topic rather than just a mention. Example: To find journal articles where there is a major discussion on GST: atleast15(gst) This search requires gst to appear in the document at least 15 times. You can use any number from 1 to 255 with the atleast command.
Using the ALLCAPS Command Using the allcaps command, you may restrict your search to find the terms where all letters are capitalised. This is particularly helpful to locate a company name where it may have another meaning when referenced in lower case. Example: To find documents including references to the company of AMP: allcaps(amp)
Using the CAPS Command Using the caps command, you may restrict your Boolean search to find words in which capital letters appear anywhere in the word. This is useful to locate a person whose name can also have another meaning. eg Brown. Example: To find references to the person Brown: caps(brown)
Using the NOCAPS Command Using the nocaps command, you may restrict your Boolean search to find words in which none of the letters are capitalised. Example: To find documents about foreign aid, but not the disease AIDS: foreign w/2 nocaps(aid)
Using the PLURAL Command The research software automatically finds singular, regular plural, and possessive endings for search term. However, there may be times when you want only the plural form of a word. Example: To find documents where injury is only referenced as the plural version: plural(injuries)
Using the SINGULAR Command The research software automatically finds singular, regular plural, and possessive endings for search words. However, there may be times when you want only the singular form of a word. Example: To find documents discussing job discrimination: singular(job) w/5 discrimination
Using Truncation and Wildcards The truncation (!) and wildcard (*) characters let you easily combine or eliminate search terms, making your search simpler. If a term can be referenced in a number of different forms, the truncation will assist in finding the various forms. eg injur! will locate injury, injured, injuries. Note: The truncation symbol or wildcard cannot be used at the beginning of a term. If you use the * at the end of a term it will find the term with a character at the end, as well as without. eg 10* will find 10 as well as 101, 102, 103 etc. Truncation (!) Use ! to replace any number of characters at the end of the term. Example: To find references to any variation of the term negligence: neglig! finds negligent, negligence, negligently and negligible Note: Terms that work best with ! are those that are unique in their truncated form. For example, if you search for fir! (thinking that you want to find "fired," "firing," or "fires"), your results will also include "first," "firm," and so on. Wildcard (*) Use * to replace a single character at any point in a word. Example: To locate the term woman or women: wom*n The wildcard (*) is particularly useful if you are unsure of the spelling of a particular word or name. sm*th finds both the "smith" and "smyth" spellings of the name. Top Copyright© 2005 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Your use of this service is governed by Terms & Conditions. Please review them.