More relevant hits with proximity search

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There are several ways of enhancing your search result when performing a full text search on keywords in a (legal) journal database or search engine.

A proximity search allows you to search for words within a specified range, e.g. 10 or 15 words, a sentence or a paragraph.
This makes a search more relevant compared to a search asย  “copyright infringement” AND “google books”, because here the first grouped keywords could be in the title and the second in one of the footnotes.

Proximity search can be used in HeinOnline and Westlaw International.

In HeinOnline (Law Journal Library):
query: “copyright infringement google books”~15
result: hits with the keywords within a range of 15 words of each other
note: the value can be altered e.g.ย  ~5 or ~10, proximity can not be used in combination with wildcards or truncation

In Westlaw International:
query: “copyright infringement” /s “google books”
result: hits with the keywords in the same sentence
note: use /p for ‘same paragraph’

See also what search techniques as phrased search, wildcards or truncation can do with your search result in our guide Doing research. For more information on finding articles and journals see our guide Legal literature.