In Westlaw, a space is interpreted as an "or" connector (e.g., products liability - Bloomberg Law looks for the phrase while Westlaw looks for products or liability). To be on the safe side, it is best to type out the or connector and to enclose phrases in quotes in all three systems, that way you don't have to remember the variations. (On Westlaw, if you want to do a terms and connectors search with only and/or connectors, put Advanced: in front of the search, eg. advanced: wanton or reckless.)
Lexis Advance interprets a space between terms as an "and", if there are no connectors in the search, unless it is a legal phrase recognized by Lexis Advance. If there are other connectors in the search, a space between terms is interpreted as a phrase. Connectors in Lexis Advance are not case sensitive, so you can use AND, as well as and.
2. Lexis Advance and Westlaw automatically search for pluralized versions of words (e.g., crime - Lexis Advance and Westlaw also look for crimes).
4. If you want to run a terms and connectors search using only the and/or connectors in Westlaw, start your search with advanced: (e.g., advanced: trademark and infringement).
5. Enter connectors in lower case. Any connector entered in upper case will be treated as a search term, not a connector.
Order of Operations: Similar to a math equation, terms and connectors are not read in a straight left to right manner in Westlaw and Lexis. Some connectors are read first. See the Order of Operations chart, below. Bloomberg law reads the order of term from left to right.
|both terms must be present||and, AND||&
|trademark and infringement|
|either term must be present||or
(a space between words will be treated as an or only if no other connectors appear in the search)
|space between words
|car or automobile in all three systems; car automobile in Westlaw|
|terms must be in same sentence||
|design /s defect in all three systems (but Lexis Advance will convert this to design near/15 defect)|
|terms must be in same paragraph||w/para
(all of these options are read as near/50)
|trademark /p infringement in all three systems (but Lexis Advance will convert this to trademark near/50 infringement)|
|terms must be within n words||near/n||/n||breach /5 duty in Bloomberg and Westlaw; breach near/5 duty in Lexis Advance|
|terms must be within n words and in the order specified||pre/n||+n||john pre/3 roberts in Bloomberg and Lexis Advance; john +3 roberts in Bloomberg or Westlaw|
|exact phrase||enclose in quotes||enclose in quotes||"res judicata" in all three systems; res judicata in Bloomberg|
|exlude a term||and not||%
|collateral and not estoppel in Bloomberg or Lexis Advance; collateral % estoppel in Westlaw|
|grouping search terms||( )||( )||(car or automobile) /p (injury or harm)|
|term or phrase must appear a minimum number of times||not supported in Lexis Advance||atleastn||atleast6(termination) in Bloomberg or Westlaw|
|expand root word by any number of letters||!
|!||liab! would find liable or liability; a search for liab* will also work in Lexis Advance|
|permit variation for a single character||*
|*||wom*n would find woman or women; a search for wom?n will also work in Lexis Advance|
|plurals||regular plurals (requiring the addition of an s) are searched automatically||plurals and possessives are searched automatically||crime would also retrieve crimes in Lexis Advance and Westlaw|
|hyphenated terms||hyphenated form retrieves all variations of compound words||hyphenated form retrieves all variations of compound words||at-will searches for atwill, at will, or at-will in Lexis Advance and Westlaw; must type out at-will or "at will" in Bloomberg|
Below are the Lexis Advance and Westlaw boolean connectors in the order by which they are processed, first to last.
|" " (quotes around a phrase)|
|or||or (or space)|
|/n, w/n, pre/n, not/n, not w/n *||+/n|
|and not||but not (or %)|
* /n, w/n, pre/n, not/n, not w/n - In Lexis Advance, if you use different numbers for "n" in one search statement, the smallest number is operated on first.
Note: In Lexis Advance, connectors inside parentheses have priority over connectors outside parentheses. Example: For the search statement bankrupt! w/25 discharg! and (student or college or education w/5 loan), (student or college or education w/5 loan) is combined first, then anded with (bankrupt! w/25 discharg!).
1. LexisNexis assumes a phrase when a search statement has a space between words, but Westlaw assumes an "or" between each of the words. For example, if you use the search statement statute of limitations LexisNexis will look for a phrase, but Westlaw will look for statute or of or limitations. Westlaw will read something as a phrase only if you put it in quotes (eg, "statute of limitations").
2. LexisNexis and Westlaw use different indicators for segment or field searches. Example: searching for a term within a case name: LexisNexis: Name(roe and wade) ; Westlaw: ti(roe and wade).
3. LexisNexis does not allow you to use the connectors /n, pre/n, not w/n in the same search statement if you are using the connectors /s or /p, but Westlaw does. Example: unnatural /3 accumulation /s snow - Westlaw allows this search, but LexisNexis does not.