LexisNexis Academic is a robust database, providing access to an extensive collection of U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and newswires in addition to websites, web blogs, and radio and television transcripts. In addition to being able to search news sources you can also perform high-level legal, company, and personal profile research through LexisNexis's topical search interfaces.
The database is broken up into 5 different search interfaces, one General search interface and 4 topical search interfaces: News, Legal, Business, and People. Use the General tab to get an overview of your subject but also make sure to choose an appropriate topical tab to drill down on your research. Each topical tab has sections or sources that are not searchable through the General tab-it is very important to take your research one step further in order to do an in-depth search. When you are in a topical tab look at the right hand side of the screen to locate sources that are only searchable in that particular interface.
Searching the Database
The steps below walk you through how to do a search in the "General Search" interface, the other topical search interfaces will differ only slightly from the steps below. "Easy Search" is the search screen that you see when you first access LexisNexis. The "Easy Search" function utilizes natural language searching, meaning that you do not have to group together terms with connectors (also known as Boolean operators). While this does have its benefits it also has a major draw back in that it has the potential to bring up a tremendous amount of information that is not relevant to your search. It is recommended therefore, that you use the "Power Search" function in the General search interface or select the "Terms and Connectors" option in the topical search tabs which allow for the use of Boolean operators, a search method that increases the number of relevant search results.
Enter keywords representing your topic in the "Enter Search Terms Box" and group them together using the connectors listed below:
- "AND" - use AND to link together search concepts (primary AND New Hampshire)
- "OR" - use OR to link together synonyms and related terms (primary or caucus)
- "!" - use ! as a wildcard to retrieve variant forms of your search term (enter "primar!" to retrieve articles containing the words primary and primaries)
Click on the "View Connectors" link under the search box to explore LexisNexis's extensive list of connectors and limiters.
Next, you will need to select your sources. LexisNexis gathers its publications into source groupings. Examples include: U.S. Newspapers and Wires, TV and Radio Transcripts, and Healthcare News. Each search interface defaults to a specific source grouping. Click on the Source drop down menu to examine the available groupings. Scroll through the list and select the one that is most appropriate to your research needs. Click on the blue "i" next to the Sources drop down menu to see what publications are being searched in the selected source grouping.
The final step is to limit or expand your dates if necessary, and then click the search button.
Viewing and Interpreting Results
Results are listed in order of relevance but you can also view the results by publication date by clicking on the "Sort" drop down menu or by publication type by clicking on the categories located on left hand side of the screen.
To view an article click on its title, you will then see the full text of the article with your search terms highlighted in red within the text of the article.
Once you are in the article view you can either click on the blue arrows that appear above the publication title to view the next article or you can click on the "Results" tab in the upper right hand corner to go back to your search results screen.
Printing and Downloading Articles
Do NOT use the Print menu in your Internet browser to print the article; this will print unnecessary blank pages. Instead, click on the printer icon in the upper right hand corner of the search screen; this will print out the selected article in its entirety.
In the upper right hand corner of the search screen are icons that allow you to email articles to yourself, download articles directly to your computer or USB drive, or export your citations into a bibliographic manager such as EndNote.