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Legal Databases How-to Search: Home

Search tips and techniques for LexisNexis Academic, Westlaw, HeinOnline, and ProQuest Congressional


Welcome! This guide is to help you navigate and search our Legal databases. Click the tabs above to learn how each database works.

A general note on searching these full-text databases. When searching in a full-text database, you must try to think of the exact words that are used in the article in order to retrieve relevant results. However, it is very difficult to think of every word or phrase that an author might use. Further, a search in a full-text database will retrieve all articles that contain the key word(s) or phrase(s), regardless of how often the terms appear or the context in which they are used. Therefore, search results are likely to include many articles that are not very relevant to your topic. This is why knowing about and using more detailed connectors (such as w/s (within the same sentence) in LexisNexis Academic) can be so useful.

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Mary Martin