Lexis Nexis Academic  “Rich man’s Google.”

Archive of thousands of publications, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters, transcripts, major blogs, etc.


  • similar to Nexis
  • Big advantage: Wall Street Journal.
  • Disadvantage: no “search within.”


 Boolean operators: and, or

AND command

  • Lexis and Factiva reads word next to each other as a phrase.
  • Separate words with an and;  and is the most important connecting word you can use.
  • Your results will contain all the search terms you list.

Example:  Boston Marathon Bombing victim is read as a phrase

Example: bloomberg and taxes 

Example:  Bushwick and gentrification


OR command

Example:  (lawyer or attorney)

Example:   illegal immigrants or undocumented immigrants


hlead — headline and lead paragraph

Lexis:  Place search terms in parentheses after hlead

Example:  hlead(airline and obesity)


Factiva:  hlp=Place search terms here

Example:  hlp=earthquake


! – truncation character or  * – character

  • (wildcard) command: use the exclamation point (!) or (*) character.
  • replaces an infinite number of letters
  • Useful when you don’t know how to spell something

Lexis:  use the exclamation point (!)
Example:  legis!

legis!  will find legislate, legislator, legislation, etc.

Example:  Ste! Colbert will find both Stephen Colbert and Steven Colbert.

Example:  Jack Sty!  (Jack Styczynski was a former CUNY research professor)  

Example:  We also want to find Joe or Joseph Lhota. Jo! will find Joe, Joey, Joseph, etc.


Factiva:  *

Example:  expan*  (finds expand, expansion, expanding)


w/# — find # terms with two words of each other

  • locate terms within a certain number of words near each other
  • This command is helpful when you are searching for names with a middle initial you don’t know.

Lexis: w/#:  w/2 means within 2 words; w/5 means within five words; w/s means within sentence; w/p within paragraph

Example:  Search for two words within a # of words apart: mayor w/2 bloomberg

Example:  “jo! w/2 lhota” will find Joseph J. Lhota, Joe “Cat Hater” Lhota, etc.

Example:  Bedford-Sty! w/10 hip hop


Factiva:  w/# or near#  

  • w/2 looks for terms in order — use near2 to find words near each other in any order.

 Example: jo! near2 lhota


The “atleast#” command:  allows you to find clips that include a word or phrase “at least” a certain number of times. You can put any number you choose after the “atleast” command.


Example:  atleast5(baseball)

Example:  atleast2(lhota)



Example:  atleast5 baseball


Search for a byline

Lexis:  Example:  byline(lisa armstrong)


Factiva:  Example:  by=lisa armstrong


Search for a publication

Lexis:  pub(publication name here)

Example:  byline(paul krugman) and pub(New york times)


Factiva:  sn=publication name here


Using Nexis and Factiva to find profiles

Nexis:  length > 750

Example:  hlead((william or bill) w/2 thompson) and atleast5(thompson) and length > 750


Factiva:  wc > 750

Example:  hlp=((william or bill) w/2 thompson) and atleast5 thompson and wc > 750