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How to use Factiva: Free Text Search

Explains the content available through Factiva and the various ways to search it.

How to use Free Text Search

Free Text is the most robust type of search on Factiva. You can combine various search commands with index codes, and specific date range(s).

  • TIP: If you click on the "Examples" link under the Free Text and Search Form entries, you get an explanation of the types of connectors (and, or, not), operators you can use to narrow down your search (such as near, adjacent, with); how to use * and $ to truncate your search, and using ? for wildcard searching.

Maybe you’re wondering how other universities have been affected by COVID, and how they are handling things, etc.

  • Type: hl=(college* or universit*) w/5 (COVID-19 or coronavirus), the regional code for the United States and subject code for college/university
    • The hl= command tells the search engine to search in the headline field only.

    • The parentheses are for nested searching – allowing you to search for EITHER college OR university and EITHER COVID-19 OR coronavirus. Increasing the number of keyword synonyms enables you to broaden the search and capture the greatest number of relevant articles. 

    • The w/5 command searches these two concepts within 5 words of each other 
    • By putting a * after college and universit, it tells the search engine to search for both the singular and plural forms of these words. For example, college or colleges and university or universities. 

    • The result list highlights the search term "hits" in yellow
  • Link to a Quick Reference Card for additional assistance. 

Search Example

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Result List

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