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Lexisnexis

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Alternate/previous data source names: LexisNexis a lexis.com, LexisNexis at  nexis.com, LexisNexis by Credit Card, LN Academic, Anti-Money Laundering Solutions, Authority On Demand, Automated Forms, BNA Mergers & Acquisitions, Collection Solutions, LN Company Analyzer, LN Congressional, Corporate Legal, Courtlink eAccess, Courtlink eFile, LN Document Solutions, LN Environmental, LN Europe Web Product, Get & Print Gov Periodicals Index, Primary Sources in U.S.

History, Insurance Solutions, Intranet Solutions, LN for Law Schools, Law Enforcement Solutions, lexisONE, Mealey’s Online, PeopleWise.net Praynwhere, PowerInvoice, requester, Risk Management Solutions, Scholastic Edition, LN State Capital, LN Statistical, LN Development Pro, Web Publisher, Butterworths LexisNexis Direct LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell

Service/portal name: http://www.lexisnexis.com,
http://www.lexisone.com

Source description: LexisNexis serves a broad spectrum of the legal, business, government, financial, and academic communities, providing access to current and historic materials in the area of law science/medicine, finance, news, international news, and public records from more than thirty-one thousand database sources. The majority of the material in LexisNexis is full text, even in the older files.

LexisNexis is best known as one of the two great sources of legal information; Westlaw is the other.

It’s practically a given that LexisNexis and/or Westlaw can be found in almost every law office in the country.

Lawyers and others who need to research and prepare legal materials use LexisNexis, in part, because it allows users to “Shepardize” legal articles – that is, to research cases and the cases that are cited in those cases. Shepardizing is citation research that leads back to the original case in which the legal matter was first reported.

This process is invaluable for gaining perspective, and lawyers depend on it to understand the legal ground they are covering.

As a legal research tool, LexisNexis is excellent. Because it serves as a one-stop shop for lawyers, it has also evolved into an excellent news, tax, and accounting source.

The Lexis side of the service, begun in 1973 in Dayton, Ohio, by Mead Data Central, is one of the two major sources of case law, statutes, and administrative an regulatory information at the state and federal levels. International law also is covered.

The material is organized into libraries, allowing for either geographic or subject-oriented lists of possible sources to be viewed.

At about the same time, Mead Data Central began offering the National Automated Accounting Research Service (NAARS), a tax database from the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts.

This file has been superceded by a number of other tax materials available from a variety of sources.

Over the years, Lexis has added many new features and options. A number of purchases and alliances have added many titles previously available only in print editions to the list of offerings available on Lexis.

In a departure from the traditional Lexis subscription-based approach, a more flexible option is now available, the lexisONE service (http://www.lexisone.com), which is priced by the day, week, or month for the individual or small firm. Also, the acquisition of CourtLink Corporation allows customers to electronically file legal documents and access and monitor court records.

This option is of use to the business community, as well as to attorneys, as will be seen in the discussion of public records below.

Nexis was introduced in 1980, offering several magazines and newspapers as well as the Reuters and Associated Press newswires.

Several years later the New York Times Information Service and its INFOBANK library were added to Nexis, which remains the only place to search the full-text of the New York Times back to 1980.

Also added during this period was the LEXPAT service, with more than 650,000 patents issued since January 1, 1975.

Over the years, a software package made patent drawing sheets available in the first and largest commercial online database of image files – 5 million in number.

In the two decades since its inception, Nexis has evolved into a comprehensive collection of and international business information sources in several languages that includes current and archived news, newspapers, broadcast transcripts from major networks, wire services, magazines, and trade journals.

In 1994, Mead Data Central was acquired by Reed Elsevier plc, an Anglo-Dutch Company, which changed the company’s name to LexisNexis.

The LexisNexis Group is now the global legal and information division of Reed Elsevier. New alliances have since been made that add both depth and breadth to the LexisNexis list of offerings.

For example, a real-time, dial-up service for Securities and Exchange Commission electronic EDGAR Interactive Service.

Also in the nineties, LexisNexis formed a strategic alliance with the National Fraud Center (NFC) to collaborate in the development and delivery of fraud prevention, investigation, and recovery solution worldwide.

This approach has continued, as specialized applications have been developed for a number of segments of the business world.

Taking advantage of technological advances, LexisNexis released its full-blown Web product for business professionals, LexisNexis Universe, in 1998.

This product combined the functionality found in traditional dial-up access with some of the new bells and whistles that have since become the norm for Internet users.

With the new millenium, LexisNexis announced “a family of knowledge solutions to help customers transform information into business-critical knowledge to drive better decisions.”

LexisNexis Web Publisher, LexisNexis Intranet Publisher, LexisNexis Custom User Interface, and LexisNexis Portal Integration allow corporations and government agencies to combine local content with relevant services that are part of their LexisNexis subscription.

As part of its global branding initiative, LexisNexis introduced the new corporate Web site at http://www.LexisNexis.com.

The new site gives customers a view of all the company’s products and services offered for sale in the United States, with drop-down menus for browsing by industry, occupation, task, or featured products.

LexisNexis offers two different types of searching: “term” and connector” and “natural language.”

The term and connector method employs keyword searching separated by the Boolean connectors, AND, OR, and WITHIN.

In natural language searching, searches are entered in plain English without using Boolean connectors.

The natural language search in LexisNexis ranks the search results according to relevance, something that really sets the source apart from its peers.

To add synonyms, word variations, and other terms or phrases to the search statement, you simply click Suggest Words and Concepts for Entered Terms on the natural language search screen.

No matter which search method you choose, conducting a search on LexisNexis, requires first selecting a source, and then entering the search statement.

The source selection menu and the search interface look similar so this part can be confusing.

As an alternative, you can use the Guided Search Forms, in which sources are preidentified.

Or you can use Command Searching, which is designed for people familiar with the database structure. Command Searching is covered in the LexisNexis training.

After signing on to either Lexis or Nexis, the user is taken to a screen that can be customized or personalized in a number of ways, either by the user or with the assistance of the company’s local representative.

Besides, a number of standardized home pages have been developed for particular types of users.

To meet the needs of different types of users or search requests, several approaches are presented for searching under the following categories:

• Quick Search. Allows simple searches across a combination of file types simultaneously and presents results.

• Subject Directory. Searches on one of thirty-four categories of subject headings for current articles on more than twelve hundred topics.

• Power Search. Searches the full text of 3 billion documents in more than thirty-one thousand individual publications or large groups of sources.

Allows more sophisticated search strategy construction using Boolean logic, date limitations, and so on.

• Personal News and Shared News. Provides regular updates about specific topics of interest to your organization, delivered via e-mail or published on your intranet.

The Personal News link on the left side of the page leads to search results for search strategies created by the user to monitor topics of choice.

These can be created using either keywords or phrases, or an actual search strategy such as john w/3 jones.

The latter would return hot-linked citations to articles than mention “john” within three words of “jones” – in any order. If this strategy retrieves too many irrelevant articles, narrower construction of search phrases is possible.

Real Time News functions in the same way. This link uses search terms or strategies created by the user to retrieve articles from the newswires, which are updated at least hourly.

The center section of the power search page is where the actual search is constructed. The Source to Search box for this searcher’s page offers two options: All Services/Less Investext, as shown in the figure, and Public Records.

Experienced searchers or those with a complex research problem will probably take advantage of one or more of the various options available for this purpose.

But Nexis has added another invaluable tool to this page – the index tool. When one enters a search term, such as derivatives, four broad categories and six company names using the word appear in the index box, with buttons that will add them to the search strategy constructed previously.

When the user clicks on the categories returned, definitions and possible broader search terms are displayed.

This tools may not be needed for every search, but it is bound to be helpful when dealing with unfamiliar terms or when too few articles are retrieved using other search strategies.

The Search Forms box on the right side of the screen provides search forms for individual items in the list of sources chosen by the researcher. This approach is useful when the search should be limited to a specific source.

The remaining areas of the business research power search page include Company Dossier, Public Records Search, Market Information, and Subject Directory.

The Company Dossier tool locates companies by name or ticker symbol. Additional search options will identify companies by location, industry, size, or financial status.

The amount of information retrieved will vary depending on whether the company is publicly or privately held.

A sample search on a major corporation, for example, yields a lengthy report consisting of information from Hoover’s Company Capsules, a summary of yearly financials and detailed financials from Disclosure, stock quotations and charts, a listing of officers and directors, parent-subsidiary information, key competitors, and recent news articles mentioning the company.

Another useful link accessible in the Company Dossier section offers Company Compare option.
Up to four additional companies may be compared to the company being searched. Balance sheet, income statement, and ratio information will be reported for companies that are listed on one of the U.S. stock exchanges in the currency that the company reports to the SEC.

For company research outside of the United States, Nexis offers group files, such as All International Company Reports, All Europe Company Information, and All Asia & Pacific Rim Company Information.

Additional possibilities for locating foreign companies include a long list of country-specific or international directory files.

Examining industries is another common business research application. A link on the home page points to a group file called INDNWS, which retrieves industry-oriented articles from among the publications in the Nexis collection.

Nexis also offers Responsive Database Service’s TableBase, a database specializing exclusively in tabular data.

TableBase includes data on companies industries, products, and demographics from over one thousand sources, including RDS’s Business & Industry database, privately published statistical annuals, trade associations, government agencies, nonprofit research groups.

TableBase is used for researching topics such as market share company and brand rankings, industry and product forecasts production and consumption statistics, imports and exports, usage and capacity, number of users/outlets, trends, and much more.

LexisNexis also offers a large quantity of non-U.S. data. Country reports are available from several highly respected sources, and searching for non-U.S. news and information may be expedited by using categories such as (Non-U.S.), Asia & Pacific Rim, Europe and Middle East & Africa.

Public records provide a wealth of information for the business researcher looking for information about companies or individuals.

Real and personal property records, business and person locators, civil and criminal court filings, secretary of state record (including corporate charters), liens, judgments, UCC flings, jurverdicts and settlements, professional licenses, and bankruptcy filings are included among the recor types found in LexisNexis representing countries and states from across the United States.

Information found within these documents can be used to locate a company or person’s current address, uncover hidden assets or associations, discover legal entanglements, and more.

In Figure 4-14, a search for Jones Industries was entered in the Public Records search box of the Power Search page.

The search turned up companies with this name, or variations thereof, in eight U.S. states.

It revealed that incorporation records for Jones Industries exist in Connecticut, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, California, Georgia, and Indiana.

By examining one f these records and noting the Corporate Charter ID number, your company could contact the secretary of state to order a copy of that charter and gain valuable information not available publicly elesehwere.

Assumed or fictitious name filings also appear for several states. In Texas, Jones Industries is apparently not incorporated with the secretary of state, but the assumed name record provides the name and address of the party registered to use that business name.

The handy Public Records Search feature lets you perform a quick Public Records search in the LexisNexis EZFIND combined person-location file and the ALLBIZ file, which provides business and corporation information.

Several other public record type are included in the list of links on the right side of the business searcher home page. Figure 4-15 shows the search screen available for Commercial Code (UCC) filings, which provide evidence of debt in the form of loans or leases.

Additional links provide access to similar search forms for the Asset Locator, Uniform Judgments, and Tax Liens.

Most large companies find that it is important to keep up with new federal legislation or in the state(s) where they do business.

New laws that may affect taxation, environmental issues, and many other matters can have a significant impact on a company’s ability to do business profitably.

LexisNexis offers both Federal Bill Tracking and State Bill Tracking databases for this purpose.

Additional links on the business researcher’s home page provide access to the full text of federal or state bills and to the Federal Register and Proposed State Bills.

PRICING: Cost is an important factor to consider when performing online research. LexisNexis has supplemented its original monthly subscription-based approach by adding a number of new purchasing options.

Large companies, law firms, or academic institutions would likely prefer the flat-rate subscription that is negotiated based on the number of users, typical amount of searching per month, and other factors.

Small firms or individual users may purchase short-term packages, say for one day or one week, and download as much as they want during the lifetime of the package.

For $75 per day or $250 per week, a searcher could plan a concerntrated period of search activity. This could be a very cost-effective way to use LexisNexis when needed.

Another approach provides “pay-as-you-go” access. In this case prices can vary from $1 for a public record to $12 per document for company or financial information.

Certain files may not be included in these package deals, but if these files may not be included in these package deals, but if these files are required, it may be possible to make special arrangements through Customer Service.

Spokespeople for NexisNexis stress the flexibility in their purchase plans. Complete descriptions of these nonsubscription pricing plans and lists of files or titles available under either of the plans can be viewed by clicking on the link entitled

Nonsubscribers: Pay as you go! which is found in the upper-left corner of the main LexisNexis home page (http://www.lexisnexis.com).

SOURCE EVALAUTION: The fact that LexisNexis offers many business-related databases in full text has facilitated the development of the new products described previously.

When combined with the wide range of subject matter available, the availability of full text may mean that the user can complete a major business research project with one-stop shopping at http://www.lexisnexis.com.

Customer Support via telephone has always been both friendly and high quality in this reviewer’s experience. Support personnel, divided into Lexis and Nexis categories, are obviously knowledgeable about their databases.

On more than one occasion a support person has tried various searches for the caller, discussed what was found, and then provided the exact search strategy that was successful.

Free training may be arranged telephonically through a link at http://www.lexisnexis.com. The session lasts for abot one hour and can be customized according to interests and level of expertise.

Source value rating: All of the data source reviewers were asked to rate each source on the basis of the following eight categories using “10” as the highest rating and “1” as the lowest (“80” being a perfect score):

1. Relative cost-to-value:   8
2. Relative timelines of data:   9
3. Relative comprehensiveness of data:  8
4. Ease of use:     7
5. Search options available:   8
6. Level of support services:   8
7. Level of training offered:   7
8. Amount/kinds of special services offered: 7
Total Rating:     62

Useful tips
• Look for group files that cover all sources on LexisNexis that cover your topic.

• Add links to your LexisNexis home page for sources that you use frequently. Watch for a box on the search screen that says “Place a link to this form on my home page.”

• Try customizing your LexisNexis home page. This saves time in the long run.

• The pay-as-you-go option allows you to conduct a search or view headlines for no charge. Users pay only for the complete text of articles that they view.

• The pay-by-the-day (or week) option allows unlimited access to specific subsets of the LexisNexis database (and its documents) at a set price.

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