WESTLAW NEXT Tip of the Week: Boolean Searches Using Exact Phrases or Simple Operators

September 7, 2011

Tip of the Week

Whenever you enter Boolean Terms and Connector syntax into the search box, WestSearch will automatically identify your desired search method.



Boolean Terms and Connector syntax into the search box

However, it’s important to note that without other Boolean syntax, quotation marks, the AND operator (& or “AND”), and the OR operator (space or “OR”) are processed as a descriptive terms search (also known as plain language search). This means the WestSearch algorithm will identify the legal issue and may retrieve additional results that do not necessarily contain your exact terms.

Instead, if you want to run a precise Boolean search for an exact phrase or for terms connected by the AND or OR operators, you may do so in several ways:

Chart1Add Boolean Syntax
Whenever your search contains a field restrictor, proximity connector, (+s, /p) or expander (!, #, %, *), it is automatically processed as a Boolean search. Here are a few examples:
Add Boolean Syntax


2 Use Advanced Search

Advanced Search templates help you quickly build precise Boolean Terms and Connectors searches. To access the Advanced Search template, click the advanced link next to the search button. In the Find documents that have section, enter the search terms in the appropriate text boxes.

Use Advanced Search












3 Use the Advanced Search Command

In the search box, type advanced: followed by your search terms. This command directs the search engine to process your query as a Boolean search.

Use the Advanced Search Command

When you are searching with phrases or AND/OR operators, simply use any one of these options when you desire to have absolute control over the way in which your legal issue is processed by WestSearch.

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