Use connectors when you use the Terms and Connectors (Boolean) method of searching. Connectors are characters that establish logical relationships between words and concepts. The LexisNexis ® services do not look for connectors themselves in documents--just for the actual search words. You can use multiple connectors in one search request.

When you use multiple connectors in a search, the LexisNexis services process the search according to a priority order that works much like an algebraic equation. Connectors operate in the following order of priority:

  1. OR
  2. W/n, PRE/n, NOT W/n
  3. W/S
  4. W/P
  5. AND
  6. AND NOT

When you use two or more of the same connectors in a search, they normally operate from left to right. When a search contains multiple W/n or PRE/n connectors, however, the connectors operate in numerical order with the smallest number first.


Generally, the W/S and W/P connectors cannot be combined with W/n or PRE/n connectors. For more detailed information on specific exceptions to this rule, please contact LexisNexis ® Customer Support.



Links synonyms, alternative forms of expression, acronyms, and so on.

Example: doctor or physician--finds either doctor or physician.


Links search words and phrases to create concepts. The letter n stands for a number from 1 to 255. W/n does not specify a word order.

Example: doctor w/5 malpractice--finds doctor within five or fewer words of malpractice, regardless of which word appears first.


Requires both words to appear in the document with the first word preceding the second word by n or fewer words. Use this connector when a different word order would change the meaning.

Example: southwest pre/2 air or airline--finds Southwest Air or Southwest Airlines.


The first word is required to appear in the document. The second word may also appear; however, it cannot be within n words of the first word.

Example: rico NOT W/5 puerto--finds at least one instance where the term RICO appears separated from the word puerto; however, Puerto Rico can appear elsewhere in the document.


Looks for documents with search words in the same sentence.

Example: doctor w/s malpractice--finds doctor in the same sentence as malpractice.


Looks for documents with search words in the same paragraph.

Example: doctor w/p malpractice--finds doctor in the same paragraph as malpractice.


Links words or phrases that must both appear anywhere in the same document.

Example: doctor and malpractice--finds both doctor and malpractice anywhere in the same document.


Excludes documents that contain certain words or phrases. Use this connector with caution, because it can exclude relevant documents. We recommend using this connector at the end of your search in most cases.

Example: doctor and not malpractice--finds the word doctor anywhere in the document, but the system does not retrieve any documents that contain the word malpractice anywhere in the same document.


The search strategies presented here are the most commonly used. Additional ways of combining these connectors exist. For more detailed information on specific search strategies, please contact LexisNexis® Customer Support.