Issue-Based Research

Course #: JN208-BR

Using the Newspaper Databases

Search tips for using Canadian Newsstand Complete and LexisNexis Academic effectively

Strategies to use in Canadian Newsstream

Keyword search strategies:

If you want words to be searched as a phrase it is best to use quotation marks.

Example "public transit"

You can tell the database to search for variant spelling of a word by using the asterisk symbol. For example, Canad* searches for variant spelling after that point and so the database will look for Canada and Canadian.

Limiting Your search to a specific field

You can use the menus on the right hand side of the search box to limit your search to a specific field in the database. Some fields you may want to use in particular include the following:

  • You can limit your search to a specific publication by typing the name of the newspaper into the search box and then selecting publication title from the drop-down menu
  • You can limit your search to a specific geographic location by typing Canada into the search box and then selecting location from the drop-down menu
  • You can search for news coverage about a specific company by typing the name, Apple Inc into the search box and selecting "company / organization - ORG" from the drop-down menu.

Limiting by date

You can limit your search to a particular time period by using the Publication date menu. Be default it is set to "all dates" use the drop-down menu to select a different option. The "specific date range" option lets you choose the specific year, month and day.

Managing the search results

In this database the search results will be in reverse chronological order by default. You can use the menu on the right hand side of the screen to change the default and have the oldest records appear first or you can sort by relevance.

Search Strategies for Lexis Nexis Academic

Keyword search strategies

You don't necessarily need to put phrases in quotes.

Different strategies for limiting a search in this database

In this database it is sometimes easier to make certain choices before you search for articles. However, it is possible to limit your search results after the search. Once you perform a search there will be menus on the left hand side of the screen. One option to drill down in the search results will be by "publication name". Click on the + sign next to this option and you will see a list of individual publication names and you can limit to a specific publication by clicking on the appropriate name.

Limiting to a specific publication before searching the database

If you know that you want to target a particular publication, when you go into the database you should click on the "find" link, next to the heading "Source Directory" at the top of the screen. This will take you to a search screen where you can type in the name of the publication, such as "New York Times". Once you do the search you will be able to check the appropriate box for the publication you wish to focus your search on and then click on the red link "OK-Continue" on the right hand side of the screen.

Limiting by date before searching the database

You can type your keywords into the search box "public transit" and then click on the "advanced options" menu. The advanced search options will allow you to either specify the years of interest, for example, "from 2010 to 2015" or you can select a more specific date range by clicking on the calendar symbol and choosing a month, day and year.

Managing the search results

The search results will appear according to relevance, but this is not always the best option. You can change the menu to sort your results by chronological order, "newest to oldest" or "oldest to newest" for example.