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Research Tips for Faculty Research Assistants

This guide supplements training for research assistants for law faculty.


The best place to start news research will often be Lexis and Westlaw. Lexis Advance in particular has an extensive collection of newspapers and provides many advanced search features. As a BYU Law student, you have access to a personal account on and access to The Washington Post online through this link. For help with your NY Times account, contact Iantha Haight.

Search Tips

News article searches can return massive numbers of results, especially in today's databases that contain tens of millions of full-text news articles. Keeping that in mind, here are some suggestions:

  • Select the narrowest subset of newspapers possible. For example, if you only want articles from large U.S. newspapers, do not use a database with a global focus. Some databases let you select individual newspapers and combinations of newspapers to search.
  • Use proximity searches (e.g., "(coronovirus or COVID-19) /10 treatment"). I like Lexis and Westlaw for this reason.
  • In Lexis, use the advanced search fields of Headline or Byline to search for articles on a defined topic.
  • In Westlaw, use the advanced search fields of Title, Lead Paragraph or Summary.

General News

Legal News

Business News

Historical News

More Information

For more specialized news databases available at BYU, view this News Sources Research Guide from the Lee Library, or contact Iantha Haight.

Video Tutorial

Video tutorials are forthcoming. 

Until then, if you need help, contact Iantha Haight.


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