Complex search algorithms set apart tool in transforming legal research

by Sol Dolor06 Jul 2016
Complex and comprehensive search algorithms are what differentiate Lexis Advance from other tools in transforming research.

And while other legal research databases may give users the impression that they use the same level of technical intricacy in helping find relevant results, they simply don’t, this executive notes.

“With other databases, they give the impression of using these but in reality they just surface documents based on the number of times the search terms appear in the document,” said Cormac Maguire, LexisNexis client experience & learning manager.

He explained that relevancy ranking for results in Lexis Advance doesn’t just use term frequency but inverse document frequency, term proximity, practice area relevancy rankings, term recognition patterns and document section weighting as well.

“It also has legal phrase and citation recognition features that allow you go target specific documents,” he said, adding that segment searches using the tool can utilise advanced search forms to target specific document segments.

Apart from a web-responsive design for easy access to the content on any device, faster delivery and straightforward collaboration, the legal research database also has helpful novel features like research map and timeline.

“The research map presents you with a graphical representation of any research you’ve carried out in the last 90 days. It allows you to retrace your steps as you’ve gone through your session and jump back to any point,” said Maguire.

He also said that more senior practitioners can use research map to review the research strategy used by their junior users to check for omissions or errors.

On the other hand, the timeline feature, he explained, is another graphical representation of density of cases that occurred on a given topic.

“Once you’ve run your search, you can use the sliders to narrow the date range narrowing the number of results that you see,” he said.

Lexis Advance, billed as the next generation of legal research databases, also features the Knowledge Network, its online learning web portal that features guides and videos that can be accessed any time by its users.