Today's research tip is from Prof. Frank Houdek.
To search for singular OR plural form of a word . . .
- don't need to use either universal character (*) or root expander (!) to get common plurals
- use the singular form of the word because both systems automatically search for both singular and plural form
- if you use the plural form in your query, LexisNexis also automatically searches for both singular and plural, but Westlaw will only search for the plural
To limit search to singular . . .
- On LexisNexis, must use special search command: singular
- EXAMPLE: To search for documents discussing job discrimination, enter: singular (job) W/5 discrimination
- On Westlaw, place # symbol before term
- EXAMPLE: To retrieve damage but not damages, enter: #damage
To limit search to plural . . .
- On LexisNexis, must use special search command: plural
- EXAMPLE: To search for documents discussing Steven Jobs, enter: steven W/3 plural (job)
- On Westlaw, enter the plural form of the word
- EXAMPLE: To search for documents discussing Steven Jobs, enter: steven W/3 jobs
Update: Soon after posting this Research Tip, I saw Plurals Lost In Google Dictionary Definitions at the Search Engine Watch Blog. One more reason to use the singular form of words when you are searching.