In my legal research class today we talked some about proximity searching. Proximity searching is an important tool when conducting electronic legal research. Lexis and Westlaw have fairly intuitive proximity connectors (trespass /s injury = “trespass” within the same sentence as “injury”, trespass /2 injury = “trespass” within 2 words of “injury,” etc.), which makes them easier to use. Unfortunately, one of my favorite resources, HeinOnline, doesn’t follow this model. Proximity searching looks more like this in HeinOnline: text: “mediation water conflict”~15 (searching for mediation and water and conflict within 15 words of one another). It’s easy to figure out after using it for a bit, but it’s important to remember that you have to use a different search syntax when using HeinOnline.

Check out these posts from the HeinOnline Weblog for further explanation:

How to Use Proximity Searching

How Do I Use Proximity Searching to Find a Phrase Within 10 Words of Another Phrase or Word?