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Basic Terms & Connectors Searching

This research guide will offer help with basic terms and connectors searching in Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law.

Lexis Order of Processing

  1. “ “ (phrase)
  2. or
  3. near/n, onear/n, /n, pre/n, /s, /p
  4. and
  5. and not
  • If two or more connectors are the same in Lexis, those connectors are processed left to right.
  • If you have two numerical connectors, the connectors are processed smaller number before the larger one.
  • If you have more than one of near/n, onear/n, pre/n, /s, /p, those connectors are processed left to right.
  • Change the order of processing with parenthesis (by nesting).

Examples of Lexis Order of Processing

cat or dog or bird and custody

  1. cat or dog or bird = Set 1
  2. Set 1 and custody = End result

cat or dog /10 custody /10 contract!

  1. cat or dog = Set 1
  2. Set 1 /10 custody = Set 2
  3. Set 2 /10 contract! = End result

cat or dog /50 custody /10 contract!

  1. cat or dog = Set 1
  2. custody /10 contract! = Set 2
  3. Set 1 /50 Set 2 = End result

cat and dog or bird and custody

  1. dog or bird = Set 1
  2. cat and Set 1 = Set 2
  3. Set 2 and custody = End result

For this one, either dog or bird or both can be in the document. Cat has to be in the document and custody has to be in the document. You get 87 cases when searching Ohio state court cases.

(cat and dog) or bird and custody

  1. cat and dog= Set 1
  2. Set 1 or bird = Set 2
  3. Set 2 and custody = End Result

For this one, cat and dog both have to be in the document or just bird. Custody must also be in the document. You get 224 cases when searching Ohio state court cases.

Westlaw Order of Processing

  1. “ “  (phrase)
  2. or
  3. +n      
  4.  /n
  5. +s
  6. /s   
  7. +p
  8. /p
  9. &
  10. but not (or %)
  • In Westlaw, if two or more connectors are numerical, smaller number is processed first. In Lexis, they are processed left to right.
  • If two or more connectors are identical, they will be processed left to right.
  • Parenthesis change the order of processing

Examples of Westlaw Order of Processing

adv: cat or dog or bird and custody

  1. cat or dog or bird = Set 1
  2. Set 1 and custody = End result

cat or dog /10 custody /10 contract!

  1. cat or dog = Set 1
  2. Set 1 /10 custody = Set 2
  3. Set 2 /10 contract! = End result

cat or dog /50 custody /10 contract!

  1. cat or dog = Set 1
  2. custody /10 contract! = Set 2
  3. Set 1 /50 Set 2 = End result

adv: cat and dog or bird and custody

  1. dog or bird = Set 1
  2. cat and Set 1 = Set 2
  3. Set 2 and custody = End result

For this one, either dog or bird or both can be in the document. Cat has to be in the document and custody has to be in the document. You get 83 cases when searching Ohio State Cases.

adv: (cat and dog) or bird and custody

  1. cat and dog= Set 1
  2. Set 1 or bird = Set 2
  3. Set 2 and custody = End Result

For this one, cat and dog both have to be in the document or just bird. Custody must also be in the document. You get 215 cases when searching Ohio State Cases.

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