What is LexisNexis?

LexisNexis is a database for doing research. There are a number of services provided to universities, libraries, and organizations. Debate Assistants can help you do searches. You may have access at your school or through your nearby library as well.

What does it have?

  • It has FULL TEXT information!! Unlike many databases, it doesn’t just have cites or summaries. You have access to the actual articles with Lexis.
  • It has a lot of different kinds of sources:
    • Major and local in_the_newspapers (from NYT to Witchita Weekly)
    • Magazines (Time, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, etc.)
    • Technical journals
    • Newswires (AP, foreign sources, NPR, CNN, etc.)
    • Government documents (Congressional Record, house/senate testimony)
    • Law reviews
    • Court decisions (supreme court, federal decision, state decisions)
    • Amicus Curae briefs
    • Foreign sources (TASS, Xinhua News Service, etc.)

Features of Academic Universe:

  • Can be accessed 24 hours a day on the web.
  • Can be accessed off campus through the TU library’s home page (if you have a valid library ID)
  • Allows you to hit “control a” to select all, “control c” to copy, and then, in an open word document, to paste using “control v.”
  • Can be printed, saved easily to disk, and can be fast (if you have a fast connection).

Where to Look: (look everywhere)

  • In Current News
  • In the international libraries
  • In Law Reviews
  • In Government News

Viewing Documents:

  • Using “cite” (.ci) to look at only cites lets you look at a lot at once. Its good if you have a lot of junk
  • Using “kwik” (.kw) to look only at the search terms in your documents and about 25 words before and after for context lets you see if you are getting good stuff.
  • Using “full” (.fu) lets you see the full text.

Search Techniques:

  • Use connectors to string terms together
    • AND
    • W/S within 1 sentence (not more than 1 sentence apart)
  • Length>50 only gives you articles that are more than 50 words. You can use this to weed out crappy little articles, and to dodge monsters you don’t have time to cut. I don’t recommend this one too much.
  • Use ATLEAST to get quality articles
    • One good way to identify a good article is based, at least in part, on how many times a given word is used. This is usually better than limiting your search by length or by adding a lot of weird restrictions
    • How to do it:
      • ATLEAST x (Term) [atleast is one word, x is the number of times its mentioned, term/s must be followed and in paratheses]
      • For example:
      • ATLEAST 20 (clinton) This will only produce articles whose text contains the word “clinton” 20 times.
  • Make sure you wait for the whole document to download. The web often takes a while. Don’t try to cut and paste or save a document before you have all of it. Drop down to the bottom to be sure you have it all.

Trouble shooting:

  • You are looking in the wrong library
  • Your search terms are just too restrictive
  • You have too restrictive a date (an easy mistake to make–you must set the date with each search on academic universe)

Print Techniques:

  • Open a blank document.
  • Either paste the file into the screen, or open the document you recorded.
  • Select all text using “control a”
  • Change the font to 9 point
  • Change the font to times new roman
  • Bold/Unbold text so that everything is unbolded.
  • Under file, page setup, choose papersize: landscape.
  • Under format choose columns, make two columns.
  • Make sure text looks readable.
  • If you like, go thorough to erase “junk.” (bad articles, search terms, etc.) Be SURE not to erase the citation!
  • Check to make sure you are printing on recycled paper.
  • Print it!

General suggestions:

  • Strive for efficiency. There will be a lot of junk. You don’t want to waste your time looking at it.
  • Don’t read everything. You can easily get bogged down reading the articles. You will have to read them more closely later so try to skim.
  • Modify your search. If you are getting bad articles, you can click on “modify” and then, beginning with a connector (like AND) you can add to the search (like AND NOT BUDGET) to restrict the articles