Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 2


FIELD AND SEGMENT SEARCHING


In most databases the records or items are divided into parts that reflect the divisions in the documents themselves.  The more highly structured the database, the more parts each record will have.  Westlaw and Lexis both have divided their documents into extensive fields or segments and a search using them could, for example, find all the Maryland opinions written by Judge Marvin H. Smith.  Without being able to specify a field or segment, a search for such a common word as Smith would make the search very difficult.  With field or segment searching, a document is only retrieved if Smith is located in the designated field. This type of searching also can be very helpful in law review databases by giving searchers the option of running keyword searches only in the titles of articles.

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