Jan Knight LexisNexis: not as scary as you think!
Jinfo Blog

Friday, 18th November 2011

By Jan Knight


It’s likely that you’re either very familiar with LexisNexis and its offerings or may have read earlier reviews focusing mostly on one small part of the company’s products. If so, I encourage you to continue reading.

I thought I already understood the depth and broad coverage of the US product Nexis.com, the counterpart to NexisUK, but as a transactional (Pay As You Go user) I always felt a bit intimidated by the product. Most users are on a subscription package allowing them to take full advantage of the coverage offered by the product and the various ways to search. When you pay “per search” you are fearful that you won’t include a sophisticated enough search phrase in the Power Search box and will miss something important after you’ve paid for it!

However, during the review I found that the product’s ease of use (Search and Results) and its robust coverage reassured me that I had been getting accurate results, even as a transactional user.

NexisUK is just one small part of the “Total Solutions” package LN offers clients. The product is a combination of news, financial, legal, regulatory and market research data and makes up a robust database used by millions of people worldwide.

Writing a review allowed me to dig really deeply into the diverse content and most importantly made me feel more comfortable with the search options. Even as experienced searchers, I think we shouldn’t be embarrassed by occasionally wanting to use what I’ll call a “template” for searching.

In the review I focus mostly on the News search, but others such as Company Profiles, Countries, Industry Reports all work in a similar fashion.

Search: in the news section, it allows the user to enter keywords and phrases and connect with And, Or, Same Sentence, Same Paragraph or Within 5 words. It also allows the user to search within various parts of the document. You don’t even have to know the phrase “Boolean operators” let alone know how to use them. Sources or source groups are easily chosen as is the data range. You have great alternatives to the Power Search should you choose to use them.

Results display: search results are easy to edit or to filter and displays can be customised for the number of results shown, search order, limiting duplicate results, classification or categorisation by source type. Results can then be tagged and exported via email, downloaded into various formats, printed, saved or set up as alert.

Coverage: the sources are as diverse as its solutions and include business and trade publications, company profiles, financial market reports, international news, biographical data, newswires, websites and blogs. To make it easier to know what each source covers, the publisher has incorporated an “I” icon next to each source. When accessed, a pop up window provides information on the source such as coverage dates, update schedule, sample document and much, much more.

User support and help: there is an abundance of help and support tools, online learning modules, quick start cards, public in person or online WebEx courses, product tutorials and one of my favourites a “How do I?” collection of tips on each search page.

Additional LexisNexis products like Nexis Direct, NexisPublisher, Nexis Analytics and Company Dossier are highlighted in the review but are outside the scope of this review.

I encourage you to sign up for a demo and maybe a free trial, it’ll take the “scary” out of LexisNexis… it did for me!

VIP subscribers can read the review by logging into MyShop.

Purchase your copy of VIP Report: Product Review of NexisUK from LexisNexis from the FreePint Shop. Or save money by purchasing VIP No. 96, which also includes the VIP Report: Product Review of Factiva.com.

« Blog