Tip of the Week: How to Search in HeinOnline

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Whether you are new to HeinOnline or a regular user who needs to brush up on their skills, this blog covers the basics of searching. We’ll take a look at how to search from the welcome page, or from within a specific collection, while introducing some basic syntax options. Watch this short tutorial or keep reading to learn more.

From the Welcome Page

The welcome page is a great way to kickstart your research and see what’s available across all your subscribed content.

One-Box Search

HeinOnline’s one-box search on the welcome page includes a series of options that appear in a drop-down allowing you to specify your search intent. Let’s explore each of these options.

One-box search screenshot
  • Just search for searches the full text of documents for your keyword or words. Users can also use this option to enter custom HeinOnline syntax. From the HeinOnline welcome page the Just Search for option searches across all your subscribed content.
  • Author searches for a section author name. This is also a great way to easily pull up an author’s profile page.
  • Title searches section titles across HeinOnline documents.
  • Citation allows users to quickly pull up a document or case from HeinOnline or Fastcase using its citation.
  • Catalog searches across the entire HeinOnline catalog, including MARC21 records.

Click the search help link to see a list of commonly used search syntax.

Screenshot showing the search help link

If you are a seasoned researcher, check out our Advanced Search Syntax Guide for more in-depth searching options.

Screenshot of search syntax

Database Selector Tool

If you want to search within a specific database or databases, use the database selector tool located on the HeinOnline home page. For example, let’s search for the phrase “employment equality” and the word women within the Law Journal Library and Women and the Law database. Choose the desired databases from the selector tool.

Screenshot showing the database selector tool
Screenshot showing list of databases to select and search

Next, add your search query into the one-box search and select the Just Search for option. Note that phrases should be inside quotation marks and Boolean operators should always be capitalized.

Screenshot of one-box search query

Matching text will appear bold-faced within results.

Screenshot of search results showing matching text

Expand the facets on the left-hand side to refine your search results.

Screenshot of search results showing Refine Your Search options

Sort results by relevance, date, number of times cited by articles, number of times accessed in rolling 12-month period by other HeinOnline users, or the most-cited author.

Screenshot of search results showing sort-by options

ScholarCheck cited by information and various tools will appear to the right of each search result.

Screenshot of results showing ScholarCheck information

Advanced Searching

Select the Advanced Search link to open up three advanced search options.

Screenshot showing the advanced search link from the welcome page

(1) Search HeinOnline searches the full text and metadata of all subscribed HeinOnline databases.

Screenshot of HeinOnline advanced search options

Use the Venn Diagram tool to visualize results of various keywords to better refine your searches. The citation format guide tool lists titles available in HeinOnline, along with the citation or citations associated with that title. Use the A-Z Index to quickly jump to a specific title where you can enter citation information and be directed to a document.

Gif showing how to use the citation format guide tool

(2) Advanced Catalog search searches across all HeinOnline content, including MARC21 records. It searches at the publication or title level. Matching results will display subscribed and non-subscribed databases. With this section users can search by publication title, author, ISSN or ISSBN, series, subject, and/or publisher. An autofill feature appears when using the publication title option.

Screenshot showing the advanced search catalog tool

(3) Citation Navigator allows users to easily pull up a citation. The autofill feature will appear when entering a citation. Use the Fastcase Lookup Tool if you’re not sure of a specific abbreviation or sync your Fastcase account if you have one.

Screenshot showing the citation navigator tool

From Within a Collection

Once you enter a specific database, the just search for option within the one-box search only searches within that collection. For example, enter the U.S. Congressional Serial Set to see the text within one-box now says Search U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

Screenshot showing the search bar within the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

The Advanced Search link will change to options relevant to that database. Rather than Search HeinOnline, users can now search specifically in this collection.

Screenshot of advanced search within the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Let’s search for all House and Senate reports relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act from the year 2016. Add this phrase into the keyword option from the drop-down menu. From the section type, select uncheck all and then select house and senate reports. Finally enter 2016 into the date range.

Screenshot of a advanced search within U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Use the icons listed above the search results to modify your search, search within results, or expand all matching text pages.

Gif showing U.S. Congressional Serial Set search results and how to search within the results

Open the first result about bathroom accessibility and see if this report includes anything about baby changing facilities. Use the magnifying glass within the image toolbar to search within the section, page, or volume for a specific keyword or phrase. Let’s search for baby OR babies.

Screenshot of searching within a section, page, or volume

From the results page, select turn to page to see our matching keywords within the text. Choose the second result.

Screenshot of matching keywords within results

HeinOnline will highlight your keyword or keywords in green on the page to make searching even easier!

Screenshot showing highlighted keywords within a document

More Tips and Tricks

Want to learn more about HeinOnline? Check out these recent tips:

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