You can search for documents that contain one word within close proximity of another word by using the w/n connector between your keywords, substituting for n the maximum number of words you want separating your keywords. For example, you might type:
abortion w/10 protest
That will retrieve only stories in which the word abortion appears within 10 or fewer words of the word protest. It thus will retrieve more stories specifically about abortion protests, and eliminate stories in which those two words just appear at very different points in a story.
The w/n connector is especially useful when you're searching for stories that name a particular person, and you want to make sure you retrieve stories that use the person's middle name or middle initial.
Thus if you just searched for:
Lexis-Nexis would assume you’re only looking for that exact phrase and would not retrieve any stories that only used Richard Nixon’s full name, such as those that included his middle name or initial.
If instead you searched for:
Richard w/2 Nixon
That would retrieve any story in which the name Richard Nixon appeared, along with any stories that only used Richard M. Nixon or Richard Milhouse Nixon.
Other w/n Connectors
There are a couple of other w/n connectors you might find useful:
- If you type w/s between two search words, that will only retrieve stories in which the two words are in the same sentence in the story.
- If you type w/p between two words, that will only get stories in which the two words are in the same paragraph.
Again, these connectors are useful in getting stories where your search words appear near each other in a story, rather than in different parts of a story.