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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Westlaw Search Tip - Stop Words

You may be used to using the number sign (#) on Twitter as a hashtag. Searching for #HR4636 from the example below will retrieve other tweets with #HR4646.

Check out THOMAS' Top Ten legislative items, compiled on 8/12/2012…#HR4646 #HR1776#HR1627 #HR3012#HR4348

- THOMASdotgov (@THOMASdotgov) August 13, 2012 

The number sign has a different function on Westlaw. Use it to turn off auto-equivalents (1 or one), alternative spellings (color or colour) and plurals (join and joins) in your boolean search. It also makes stop words searchable. Stop words are common words like after,before, between and adding the number sign before the word forces Westlaw to include it in the search result. You can read more about stop words in the September/October 2010 issue of Westlaw Edge.

Posted By Alicia at 2:30 PM

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