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Training scholarly information handling for geoscience faculty & PhDs: 2G: searching for newspaper articles


On this page you'll find information on:

  1. LexisNexis Academic overview
  2. What's included in LexisNexis Academic
  3. Use of operators in LexisNexis Academic
  4. Complex queries in LexisNexis Academic
  5. Searching sections of articles in LexisNexis Academic

You could try:

  1. Having a look at the information on the right.
  2. Searching for two or three newspaper articles using LexisNexis Academic
  3. Taking a minute to try out Google News but note that for most sources it just searches the last few months
  4. Looking at the Delpher search engine with the scanned newspaper archive of the Royal Library (interface only in Dutch)

LexisNexis Academic: 15,000 newspapers, all countries, 1992-this morning

LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic is an enormous database containing the full text of articles from almost 15,000 newspapers from all all over the world, from approximately 1992 up to this morning's newspaper. Almost all well-known newspapers are included. It is often text only, but for an increasing share of articles there is also an image available, including graphics and photographs.You won't find personal announcements, advertisements etc. 

You can search for separate articles on a subject. Virtual browsing through a newspaper of a certain day is not that easy.

LexisNexis Academic is much more complete in covering newspaper articles than for instance Google News. It also dates back further. It is an excellent database if you are looking for (old) news and background articles which were published over the years. Most Dutch regional newspapers are also included.

LexisNexis Academic has very advanced search options such as looking for the minimal length of articles. These options are different than you are used to in other databases. LexisNexis Academic supports export of title data etc. to RefWorks.

In the special LexisNexis Academic LibGuide UBU LibGuide LexisNexis Academic you will find more information about this unique database.

What is included in LexisNexis Academic?

What years are covered?

Although the interface claims "covers 1980 to today" it is better to say that for the major Dutch newspapers, coverage is from approximately 1992 to the present, including this morning's newspaper. Only for newspapers in English the archives contain older material, for some publications (New York Times, Washington Post, Globe & Mail) coverage dates back to 1980.

What newspapers and journals?

In addition to thousands of newspapers LexisNexis Academic also contains a number of newsmagazines. Dutch magazines include Vrij Nederland, Opzij, De Groene Amsterdammer and Elsevier.

Pakistaanse bronnen in LexisNexis

And what other sources?

When you perform a combined search in LexisNexis Academic  you also search in sources that give information about markets, countries and persons. It is important to know that this search method can yield a lot of unwanted results. This is because these sources are for a large part specifically American, British or French and also for these countries the selection is not very balanced. Therefore we recommend you to always use the box ´Search the news` under Easy search.

LexisNexis contains sources-newspapers from almost every country: here is a part of the Pakistani (English-language) sources.

Use of operators (connectors) and wildcards in LexisNexis

LexisNexis Academic offers many professional options for specific searches. The diagram below may be of great use if you want  to perform a specific search or want to record the development of certain processes during the last few decades

Use of operators (connectors) and wildcards

Syntax Searches for Example
"..." exact phrase "Kyoto agreement"
AND both terms clima! AND greenhouse!
OR at least one of both terms greenhouse* OR CO2
AND NOT without the second term KYoto AND NOT (CO2 or greenhouse!)
PRE/n second term at most n words after the first George PRE/2 Bush
W/n terms up to n words from each other (up to 255) clima! W/10 (greenhouse OR CO2)
W/s words in the same sentence clima! W/s greenhouse!
...! word stem followed by any number of characters clima!
...*... one arbitrary character in the exact spot in term globali*ation
NOT w/seg without second term in the same section clima! NOT w/SEG greenhouse!
NOT w/para without second term in the same paragraph clima! NOT/para greenhouse!
NOT w?sent without second term in the same sentence clima! NOT/sent greenhouse!
NOT W/n without second term up to n words after the first Kyoto NOT W/100 (CO2 OR greenhouse!)
(up to 255)
ATLEASTn term occuring at least n times in document ATLEAST5 (Kyoto)
ALLCAPS term entirely in capitals ALLCAPS (Kyoto)
CAPS term with at least 1 capital somewhere in the term CAPS (supervga)
NOCAPS term only if it does not contain capitals NOCAPS (aid)
PLURAL term only in the plural PLURAL (job)
SINGULAR term only in the singular SINGULAR (job)

More information about connectors in LexisNexis

Search actions in certain fields in the search interface "all news" and "newspapers and wires"

  • Here you can search for instance only by author or only in the title and first paragraph
  • Please note: if you combine two or more search terms, they must be separated by the operators AND and OR

Pre-selection of certain source types

  • Choose a source type within the selected interface
  • Use the overview of sources in the main menu to select sources before you start your search

Formulating complex search queries

Sometimes you may need exhaustive search results, for instance if you want to find out how and how many times a subject has been in the news through the years. In these cases you will have to combine all possible terms in a smart way.

Below you will find an example of a complex search query from a research conducted in Utrecht:

((Alzheimer! OR dement!) AND (Biomarker! OR bloedtest! OR Hersenvocht! OR CSF! OR lumbaal! OR Ruggenmerg! OR ruggemerg OR ruggenprik! OR ruggeprilk! OR vroegdiagn! OR "vroege diagn!" OR "vroegsign!" OR "vroege sign!" OR MRI! OR "PET scan!" OR "vroege opsporing" OR "voorspell!" OR (beeldvorm! W/3 techni!) OR "beelddiagn!" OR "vroegtijdige diagn!" OR "moleculaire diagn!" OR "molecular imag!" OR "SPECT" OR "marker!" OR "detect!"))

As you can see, you must come prepared. Think of:

  • alternative terms: spinal puncture / lumbar puncture
  • alternative spelling
  • alternative formulations: early diagnosis, diagnosis in the early stages

More about search terms in the special Libguide Generating search terms UBU LibGuide Zoektermen bedenken

Searching in specific segments of articles in LexisNexis

In the 'News' | 'All news' interface the menu offers an option to restrict your search to the title and first paragraph of articles.

Experienced users demanding more option may use the 'Power Search' interface that permits limiting your search to many different parts (segments) of the article.

Some options

  • the title (HEADLINE)
  • the introduction (LEAD)
  • a combination of the two (HLEAD)
  • the actual text (BODY) of the piece

For instance: HLEAD (langstudeerdersboete OR (boete! W/5 langstude!) to find all articles which have the word langstudeerboete (a fine if your studies take too many years) in the title or first paragraph or a word beginning with boete ( fine) which is up to 5 words away from a word beginning with langstude

Please note: in the pull-down menu the segment 'body' is missing, but that does not mean you cannot use it. If you would like articles in which the words Haarlem, Haarlems or Haarlemmer must occur but without all the articles published in Haarlems Dagblad, use the following method: BODY (Haarlem*)

In the LexisNexis wiki you will find complete lists of segment you can use to limit your search results