View Full Version : What's the deal with LEXIS-NEXUS?

02-19-2004, 01:30 AM
I understand it to be a powerful search engine/database used by journalists and other professionals....do any Dopers use it? Is it better or different than a Google search?

Really Not All That Bright
02-19-2004, 01:32 AM
I use it for legal research (admittedly only when Westlaw is running slow).

02-19-2004, 01:40 AM

Nexis is a fulltext database of 1000s of newspapers and journals. Lexis is a legal research database.

Most universities give students free access to it, but if you want to pay for it yourself it is quite expensive.

Unlike Google, Nexis searches the entire text of a publication. So you can find a lot of stuff, but you have to use your search terms well to filter out the noise.

02-19-2004, 07:16 AM
I use it at the office (I work for a newspaper and have to do a lot of fact-checking - it's a good way of finding, say, birthdays, dates companies were bought/sold, etc etc). You come up with a whole lot of hits though, so your search terms do have to be good, as BobT says.

02-19-2004, 10:16 AM
In case it's not clear yet, NEXIS and LEXIS are not web search engines, and have nothing really to do with the web.
They just access their own separate collections, maintained exclusively by the company that owns it. Some of the articles in Nexis or Lexis may also be posted on a web page somewhere, but not necessarily, and likewise there are many many many things on the web that are not in nexis or lexis.

As said, lexis is a legal database, very very useful for lawyers. (westlaw is another similar databse).
Nexis is a collection of articles from major newspapers and other periodicals. It is very useful for running down facts, and background research. Though more and more is becoming available on the web, nexis is still very valuable for confirmation. Any fool or liar can make a web page, but only serious publications get into nexis, so you can count on the accuracy of something in nexis much more than the web.

In the old days, you accessed nexis and lexis with your computer dialing directly into the nexis/lexis company's mainframe computer, or in the old, old days, using a terminal leased from nexis/lexis to dial in. Nowadays, you can access their computer over the internet, but it's the same idea.