Academic Help: Canadian Law Journals
Latest revision as of 14:57, 4 March 2010
 About the Search Form
The Canadian Law Journals search form is located in the International Law section of LexisNexis Academic. This search form will help you accomplish tasks like:
- Search Canadian Law Journal articles by Author
- Search Canadian Law Journal articles by subject
- Search Canadian Law Journal articles by Citation
 Search For
This form has a quick search default. If you enter terms only in the first row and leave the date set to "All Available Dates" the search will work pretty much the way the "Search the News" option works on the Easy Search. If all you want to do is search for a few terms in a specific source, then the rest of this Help section does not apply to you.
If you use any of the other features, then the form switches to using Boolean logic and you do need to read the rest of this Help section.
Boolean logic means you construct your search using individual terms joined by connectors such as "And" and "Or." If you are looking for stories about Hillary Clinton and simply search on "Hillary Clinton," LexisNexis will assume that you want to find documents in which those two words occur in that order and right next to each other. You will miss any document that refers to her as "Hillary Rodham Clinton." To find such documents you can enter the terms on separate lines and pick the "AND" or "within 5 words of" option from the drop down box for Connectors (see below). For more about connectors, see the article on Boolean Searching.
Note: Although quote marks are used in the examples, they are ignored in Boolean searches. If you want to search a phrase, simply enter it in a single text box and LexisNexis will assume you want the exact words in the exact order.
The second and third input rows of in the Search For section start with a drop down box that lets you choose connectors when you have entered terms on more than one row. The connectors are:
- Within 5 words of
- In Same Sentence as
- In Same Paragraph as
For an explanation of how these and the other available connectors work, and to learn about search techniques, see the article on Boolean Searching.
 Search Terms
Sometimes called "keywords," the terms you enter in the text box will be matched against terms that occur in documents when your search is run. There are a few things you should know about entering terms on this form:
- Implied adjacency -- if you enter two or more words in the same box (with no connector), LexisNexis will assume you want to find documents in which those words occur together and in order. Entering "hot dog" will only find documents that mention hot dogs. Entering "hot AND dog" will find any document that has both these words, for example a story about a dog on a hot day.
- Automatic pluralization -- LexisNexis automatically searches plural forms of most nouns. You do not need to use wildcard characters to search for "dog" and "dogs," simply enter "dog" and LexisNexis will find both variations.
The default "Everywhere" option in the drop down boxes at right will run a full-text search for the term(s) you have entered. In some cases, you will get a much better result by restricting the search using one of the choices in the drop down box. For example, if you wanted to find Opinion pieces that Hillary Clinton has published in the New York Times, searching Everywhere will bring back thousands of false hits on stories that simply mention her. If you enter "Hillary" and pick "in Author" on the first row, and enter "Clinton" and pick "in Author" on the second row, the search will bring back only articles she wrote. (As described in the "Search Terms" section, you could also enter "Hillary AND Clinton" in a single text box, then pick "in Author.") The restriction choices are:
- by Author
- by Title
- by Citation
- Articles that contain your input term at least 5 times
These are only the most commonly used types of restrictions. For more ways to focus your search, see the article on Academic Document Sections
 Specify Date
One of the most efficient ways to narrow your results set is by specifying the date. If you're researching a current event, try narrowing the date to the last 6 months. If you're researching a past event, use the "Is Between..." option to set the dates yourself. Choosing a time period to search through will change your results drastically. You will be much more likely to find relevant results.
 Select Source
On the Canadian Law Journals search form, you have two general options for sources. Your first option is to simply click the check boxes of those sources you'd like to search. Almost all of the sources on this particular form have a Browse option that will let you see the source's Table of Contents.
Your other option is to use the "Browse Sources" links to navigate to the Source Directory. You may select the "Law Reviews & Journals" option from the "Publication Type" section on the Browse Sources form. From there, you can choose multiple specific sources to search within. For more instructions on the Source Directory, click here.