HOW TO USE Lexis
Lexis 7.1 in non-graphical mode and Windows 95/98
Written by Jim Hanson
Lexis is a library with newspaper, journal and other articles that you access with a computer. To use Lexis, you just search for the subject on which you want materials, giving you access to the full text of articles on that subject. You can then save sections of the articles for your own use. Here is how to use Lexis:
Click the asterick on the right to access the information.
1. OPEN LEXIS *
2. OPEN YOUR WORD PROCESSOR *
3. MAKE A SEARCH REQUEST *
4. LOOKING AT STORIES *
5. SAVE EVIDENCE AND STORIES YOU WANT *
6. EXITING LEXIS *
ADDITIONAL SEARCH TIPS *
HEY! I CAN'T FIND ANY ARTICLES ON MY SUBJECT!!! See the Additional Searching Tips Section
1. Click Start, Programs, Lexis, Lexis-Nexis
2. Click the SignOn button in the upper left hand corner of the screen
(Wait as the computer hooks up to Lexis--if you experience problems, see the "How to Connect to Lexis" file)
3. Type in the Password and press Enter (Ask your coach for a Lexis password)
4. The screen will ask for your last name; type in five letters
5.Choose News by typing 1, return OR Lexis (Legal Library) by typing 2, return
6. Now type N, enter if the screen says ". . . A new research session begins . . ."
OR Just press Enter if the screen says " . 1...5...10...15...20....25....30...."
7A. NEWS LIBRARY
Type NEWS, Enter
Then choose one of the libraries. We recommend:
7B. LEXIS LIBRARY
You open your word processor so that you can past evidence in a document that you copy in Lexis. TO OPEN YOUR WORD PROCESSOR DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. Click the Start Button, Programs, and then your word processor.
2. After the program is open, click the Lexis button on the Windows95/98 taskbar.
1. Type in a Search Request:
To do this, type in search terms separated by OR, W/15, or AND.
Type in terms you would expect to see in a piece of evidence you want separated by or, and or w/10:
EXAMPLE: Mexico and peso w/8 debt or default or depression
AND (meaning both terms must appear in any story that Lexis will send to you)
OR (means Lexis will send you the story even if just one of the terms appears in means)
W/12 (means the two terms are within 12 words of each other (you can choose a stories)
You can also add in date limitations at the beginning of your search.
To do this, type in DATE AFT month-day-year AND
Example: DATE AFT 07-01-99 AND
Example: DATE AFT 1998 AND
EXAMPLE: So, for evidence from stories after December 1, 1999 arguing "media impairs understanding of political issues" you might type in:
DATE AFT 12-01-99 AND MEDIA OR NEWSPAPER W/15 IMPAIR UNDERSTANDING AND POLITICAL
2. Click the Enter button at the bottom of the Lexis Screen OR Press Enter
(pause and wait for a message on screen)
3: Look at the screen message and then do one of the following:
IF THE SCREEN SAYS: "Your search will be larger than 1000 documents"
OR IF THE SCREEN SAYS: "Your search request has found no items . . ."
Click the New Search button at the bottom of the Lexis screen.
Type in a new search request, click the Enter button or press Enter, and wait for a message on screen.
IF THE SCREEN SAYS: "Your search request has found 64 stories . . . " (or any reasonable number)
Click the CITE button at the bottom of the screen to see a list of the first set of the stories
OR Click the KWIC button at the bottom of the screen to see portions of the articles.
HEY!! I CAN'T FIND ANY ARTICLES!!!
For more tips on searching--see the last page of this How to use Lexis document.
When you see a list of citations, read the titles of the stories. Then you can double-click the number in front of the citation to see the "KWIC" version of the story with mainly the search terms.
To switch views of the document, move to another
document, you can click the buttons on the toolbar.
Hey—I can’t tell what the buttons are for. Do This: Right Click the toolbar, Click Customize Toolbar, In the lower part of the dialogue box, choose Text, Click Close.
COPY QUOTATIONS IN LEXIS
1. Click the Full button on the toolbar at the top of the Lexis screen if you are not in Full Story mode
2. Select (highlight with the mouse) a section of the story that you want to keep
3. Click Edit, Copy (at the top of the screen)
SWITCH TO YOUR WORD PROCESSOR
Click the Word/Word Processor button on the Windows95/98 taskbar.
Click the paste icon on the toolbar OR click Edit, Paste at the top of the screen Or press Shift and Insert
Press Enter twice (to make spacing between pieces of evidence).
BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
SWITCH BACK TO LEXIS
Click the Lexis button on the Windows95/98 taskbar.
NOTE: AT SOME POINT--YOU NEED TO CUT AND PASTE THE CITATION FOR THE STORY (Author, Magazine or Newspaper, Date, etc.)
SUGGESTION: SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT FREQUENTLY SO THAT YOU DO NOT LOSE THE PASTED ADDITIONS YOU MAKE TO IT.
Click File, Exit, Okay. (Don’t use signoff as it may causes crashes)
TIP ONE: When you find relevant stories--look for key words in them and use those words in another search.
TIP TWO: Additional search term limiters
Use ! at the end of the first few letters in words.
Example: DATE AFT 12-01-99 AND National health insurance OR HEALTH CARE w/20 budget deficit W/20 HEALTH INSUR!
The term Insur! will make Lexis search for any story with a word beginning with insur like insured, insurance, insurable, etc.
Use AND NOT meaning the term(s) after NOT will not be in the stories you receive.
Example: DATE AFT 12-01-99 AND National health insurance OR HEALTH CARE w/20 budget deficit W/20 HEALTH INSUR! W/20 (NATIONAL DEBT OR FEDERAL DEBT OR COST OR SPENDING) AND NOT OREGON
The addition of NOT OREGON will make Lexis search for stories with health or medical insurance but no mention of the Oregon health insurance proposal.
TIP THREE: Edit your Search instead of starting all over
Instead of clicking "New Search" when you don't like the results of your search request--like when it tells you that you have 1000 plus stories, you can edit your search. To do this:
Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the line where your search request is.
Type in the changes you want.
You can avoid typing over your letters by pressing the Insert key on the keyboard.
When you finish the new search line--MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CURSOR IS AT THE END OF THE LINE AND THEN CLICK THE TRANSMIT BUTTON OR PRESSING ENTER.
TIP FOUR: Modify your Search instead of starting all over
If you are in the middle of a citation list or even a story, and you want to change your search, you don't need to start all over. Instead, you can just do the following:
1. Type M
2. Click the Enter button at the lower left of the Lexis screen OR press enter.
3. Type in AND, OR, W/20, and NOT to add on to your original search
4. Click the Enter button at the lower left of the Lexis screen OR press enter.
You now have a list of more carefully selected citations to view.
TIP FIVE: Save your Search instead of starting all over
If you want to start your search over but you don't want to retype your search line, do the following:
1. Type M
2. Select (highlight) your search line (its in the lower middle of the screen)
3. Click Edit, Copy
4. Click New Search
5. Click Edit, Paste (and your old search will appear for you to use or edit)
HEY!!! I CAN'T FIND ANY ARTICLES ON MY SUBJECT!
TIP 1: Choose a new library.
TIP 2: Type in a very broad search--like "Mexico and money"
TIP 3: Take the argument you are researching, divide it into its key parts, create multiple synonyms for each part and press enter.
For example, take this search: Arms Sales increase deaths and injury
Adj (with synonyms) w/5 Noun (synonyms) w/# verb (synonyms) w/# object (synonyms)
Arm! or Weapon! w/5 Sale! or Aid or Transfer! w/15
increase or add! or more or exacerbat! or grow! or expan! or enlarg! or augmen!
death! or injury or harm or kill! or war! or violen! or conflict! or aggress! or attack! or confron!