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How to search: Nexus Professional Searching

This guide will show you how to search in the different Unisa Library resources to find relevant information for your research needs

Expert Searching Tips for Nexus

Nexus

Using the Professional Search function in Nexus

Professional search

With the Professional searching option , you can create more complex, sophisticated searches to search. Professional searching is available by selecting the Professional Search link next to the Advanced Search option .

Use the Professional searching option to build your search line by line. Enter your search in the box provided. Execute the search by clicking on the Search button. Transfer the search and the search results to the table by clicking on the OK button. Once you have built up your search, you can combine search lines with Boolean operators.

Search Fields

The purpose of this option is to give you a description of the searchable fields in the database. First enter your search terms with appropriate operators, then select the field you wish to search from the drop down list under Search fields. You can now execute the search and transfer the results to the table or you can expand your search. You can also use this option simply to get the name of the field and then type your search in manually, e.g. BI=(child adj abuse) and SUBW=(law or psychology)

 Search Aids

Each aid will give you a list of search terms. You can choose the terms you desire by clicking in the checkbox alongside each term. Each aid will also give you two sets of Boolean operators. One set to combine Search terms and the other to combine Groups. Choose the Boolean operator from the Search terms set to combine the terms you have selected. Choose the appropriate Boolean operator from the Groups set to combine these terms with any search you may have entered previously.

There are two types of search aids:

  • The author, keywords in titles and institution options in the list box will display the indexes of these fields.
  • The broad subjects option allows you to search for broad terms and will paste the codes for any broad term you select into the search.

 Search fragments

The search fragments are predefinded searches which you will normally use to limit any previous search that you have entered.

Boolean operators

Guideline Example

AND

All terms joined by the this operator must be present in the record

health AND substance AND abuse

finds records where all three terms are present in the same field in any order

OR

Any or all of the terms separated by the operator must appear in the record.

medic* OR pharma*

finds records in which either medic* or pharma* is present in the same field in any order

NOT

The term that follows the operator must not be present in the record

(medic* OR health) NOT pharma*

finds records in whic either medic* or heatlh is present but do not include pharma*

 

Proximity operators

Guideline Example

ADJ

The terms separated by the operator must appear in the same field and will be next to each other (adjacent).

human ADJ scienc*

finds records in which both terms are next to each other in the same field in the specified order

NEAR

The terms separated by the operator are usually within one to five words of each other

agric* NEAR council

finds records in which both terms appear within one to five words from each other

W/0 (zero)

Equivalent to the adjacency operation with the distinction that in this case the order of the terms is not important. Term A is within zero words of term B.

animal* W/0 farm*

finds records in which both terms appear next to each other in any order

W/n

where n is any numeric digit, e.g. W/3 means that term A is within 2 words of term B

english W/2 second ADJ language

Because ADJ has a higher order of preference than the W/2 operator. The system will perform the second ADJ language part of the search first. Having retrieved these records the system will then refine this search by retrieving those records that have the word english within two words of this phrase.

W/S

Means that term A is in the same sentence as term B

Aids W/S education

finds records in which the word Aids is in the same sentence as the word education

W/P

Means that term A is in the same paragraph as term B

Aids W/P education

finds records in which the word Aids is in the same paragraph as the word education

W/F

Means that term A is in the same field as term B

Aids W/F education

finds records in which the word Aids is in the same paragraph as the word education

W/O

Means that term A is in the same occurence of the same field as term B

Aids W/O education

finds records in which the word Aids is in the same paragraph as the word education

 
The default order of preference is:
  1. ADJ or W/0 (within zero words) - These are the two adjacency operators, in the same order, or either order
  2. W/n (within "n" words)
  3. W/S (within the same sentence or subfield)
  4. W/P (within the same paragraph)
  5. W/O (within the same occurrence)
  6. W/F (within the same field)
 

Wildcards and Truncation

Truncation - A search technique which allows for the retrieval of multiple words which share the same initial root-word, but have different endings. The asterisk (*) symbol is used to indicate a search of this type.

The asterisk (*), question mark (?) are called wildcards because they can be included in a search term to represent unknown characters. The asterisk (*) stands for any group of characters (multi-character) or no characters. The question mark (?) represents any single character.

 

Guideline Example

Wildcards may be used inside a search term and at the end, but not at the beginning.

You may use any number of wildcards in a single term, including different wildcards in the same term.

Use the asterisk to replace the end of a word when you want to search for all possible endings of a given root.

The asterisk wild card must be preceded by at least three letters.

employ* finds employ, employee, employer, employed, employable, employment

wind? finds wind, winds, windy

en?oblast* finds endoblast, endoblasts, entoblast, entoblasts

biolog* finds biology, biologist, biologists, biological