HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: Target or Narrow Your Search Results Using "Search Within These Search Results"

Do you often have long search queries or a research topic that consists of several keywords? If so, then building a strategic search query is the best approach to targeting your search results. This week’s tip outlines how to target your results in HeinOnline using the "Search Within These Results" feature. Some of you may already be aware of this feature that was added recently to HeinOnline. However, after further feedback that we have gathered, we learned that this feature is still fairly new to some of our users. Therefore, we wanted to take some time this week to focus solely on "searching within your search results" and how to use this feature to effectively narrow or target your search results.

To illustrate this feature and how to target your search results, we will first look at an issue affecting Indians living in America and the impact of the Indian Civil Rights Act on tribal sovereignty. We will take a specific look at tribal sovereignty and it’s discussion in the Oliphant case.

To begin building our search, let’s open the Field Search option in the Law Journal Library.

We will first look for articles regarding Indians in America and the Indian Civil Rights Act. To do this, enter "Indian Americans" into the first search box, select text and phrase. Then, select OR and enter "American Indians" into the second search box, select text and phrase. Then enter "Indian Civil Rights Act" into the last search box, select text and phrase. Click search.

This returns over 600 articles discussing the Indian Civil Rights Act. Now, we want to narrow our search to focus specifically on the discussion of tribal sovereignty in the Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe case. Click "Search Within These Results" and enter the following syntax into the search box:

text: "Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe" AND text: "tribal sovereignty"

This will return just over 260 articles that specifically discuss tribal sovereignty and it’s role in the Oliphant case.

If we had another keyword, we could then use the "Search Within These Results" feature again, to narrow our results even further. Or, if we want to narrow our results to show only articles specifically discussing "tribal jurisdiction", we could search within our results for keywords in the title, for example:


This will give us only 5 articles discussing tribal jurisdiction as it relates to tribal sovereignty in the Oliphant case and it’s role in the Indian Civil Rights Act.

Let’s take a look at another example. We want to find articles discussing the UNIDROIT Principles and the impact of Article 2.15 and pre-contractual liability on European Community Law.

Enter "UNIDROIT Principles" into the first search box, select text and phrase. Then enter "international commercial contracts" into the second search box, select text and phrase. Click search.

This will return 700 articles discussing the UNIDROIT principles and their role in international commercial contracts. Now, we want to target our search to specifically look at the impact of pre-contractual liability and article 2.15 on European Private Law. To do this, click "Search Within These Results". Enter the following syntax into the search box:

text: "article 2.15" AND text: "pre-contractual liability" AND text: "European Private Law"

This returns only 2 articles discussing European Private Law and article 2.15 of the Principles.

Using the "Search Within These Results" feature allows you to strategically build a search query and target your results to return results that you want to see. It allows you to find a group of articles or documents about a broad topic and then narrow in on those results to find key words. Or, if you search for the name of a specific article first, you can use this to narrow in on a few key words within the article.

If you have other examples, or have found this feature useful in other ways, please share it with us. Comment on this post or send us an email, and we'll post more examples to help you get the most out of searching in HeinOnline.

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