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Optimal Search Strategies in Legal Databases: Order of Processing

This guide covers terms and connectors, Boolean logic, order of processing, advanced search commands, and resources for obtaining help

Order of Processing

Order of Processing:

The "order of processing" is part of the logic Westlaw and Lexis apply when running your search. You know how you want your search to be interpreted by the system but you must structure your search so the search system can carry out your intent.

The examples in this section demonstrate how connector use and search structure can greatly effect your search results. When preparing a search, it is a good idea to think through the order of processing to ensure your search will be processed the way you intend. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and possibly money on a search that does not give you the results you are seeking.

Westlaw and Lexis will process your connectors in the following order: