Develop a Natural Language Search

To develop a natural language search, use terms that you might use when describing your research topic to another person. For example, to find articles about efforts in the fast food industry to use recyclable packaging, you might use this search:

Example: What efforts has the fast food industry made to use recyclable packaging?

Or you can just use the most import terms and phrases from that search question, in any order:

Example: recycle package fast food

The following video describes the process of using a natural language search:

Searching with Multiple Search Terms

If your search query contains two terms, both terms must be present in the document. Documents where the terms appear close together or as a phrase will rank higher, and have a higher relevance on the results page.

When you use three or more terms in your search query, the results might also include documents without all the terms, but documents with the most variation of the search terms will rank higher.

For example, searching using the phrase sugar tax may generate thousands of news documents that contain both search terms. If there are more than two terms in the search query, the result will include an abridged list of the top stories with the heaviest concentration of these terms.


Using the "Fewer Results vs Expanded Results" Feature

To view all potentially relevant results, at the results page, click the Actions drop-down list and choose Expanded results.

This will show results with any of the search terms in each document. Essentially, any document that has any of the terms in the original search will be included.

Using the sugar tax search example from above, choosing this option will show results that have just the term sugar, just the term tax, or both.


Understanding Relevancy

Nexis will display the more relevant results at the top of a results list. Results that contain one or more of the terms will be closer to the top of the list than results that contain only one of the terms.

Using Expanded Results from the Actions drop-down list produces a larger results list. But this will give a more comprehensive view of all the results related to the terms. However, selecting Fewer results presents a tighter results list.

Fewer results and Expanded results functionality is only available for Natural Language searching, and does not vary by content type. It works the same across all content included in a search.