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How to search: HeinOnline Searching

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

Advanced Searching Tips for HeinOnline


HeinOnline is an online product with more than 100 million pages of legal history available in an

online, fully-searchable, image-based format. In addition to its vast collection of law journals, HeinOnline also contains more 25,000 legal treatises, the Congressional Record Bound volumes in entirety, complete coverage of the U.S. Reports back to 1754, famous world trials dating back to the early 1700’s, legal classics from the 18th & 19th centuries, the Unit ed Nations and League of Nations Treaty Series, all United States Treaties, the Federal Register from inception in 1936, the CFR from inception in 1938, and much more.

 HeinOnline is the world’s largest image-based legal research collection and contains more than 9 centuries of legal history.

Advanced Searching Tips

Guidelines for how to use the Advanced Searching option is available to download here.


· A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms:

· Single: a single word such as "test" or "hello".

· Phrase: a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello dolly".

· Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see


· Terms are NOT case-sensitive.

Boolean Operators

· Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. Boolean operators AND, "+", OR,

NOT and "-" are supported. Boolean operators must be all CAPITALS.


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a

document. This is equivalent to a union using sets.

To search for documents that contain either the phrase "watershed planning" or the

word "watershed" use the query: "watershed planning" OR watershed


The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single

document. (The symbol "&&" can be used in place of the word AND.)

To search for documents whose title field contains "real property" and creator field

contains "rheinstein" use the query: title: "real property" AND creator: rheinstein



The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in a field of a

single document.

To search for documents that must contain "watershed" and may contain

"planning" use the query: + watershed planning


The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. (The symbol "!" can be used in

place of the word NOT.)

To search for documents that contain "watershed planning" but not "watershed

system" use the query: "watershed planning" NOT "watershed system"

The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT "watershed planning"


The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

To search for documents that contain "watershed planning" but not "watershed

system” use the query: "watershed planning" - "watershed system"


Proximity Searches

· Support for finding words which are a within a specific distance away. To do a proximity search, use the

tilde symbol, "~", at the end of a phrase.

To search for a "watershed" and "planning" within 10 words


Boosting a Term

· The relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found is provided. To boost a term, use the caret

symbol, "^", with a boost factor (i.e., a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the

boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.

· Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term.

For example, if you are searching for "jakarta apache" and you want the term

"jakarta" to be more relevant than "apache", boost it using the caret symbol along

with the boost factor next to the term. jakarta^4 apache

· This will make documents with the term "jakarta" appear more relevant.

You can also boost phrase terms as in the example: "jakarta apache"^4 "Apache Lucene"

· By default, the boost factor is 1.

· Although the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1 (e.g., 0.2).