Academic Universe for Searching Newspapers

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Last Updated on September 27, 1999


Academic Universe ( is one of the most comprehensive sources for the full text of local newspapers in the United States. Local newspapers provide the details of county and municipal government and politics unavailable elsewhere.

Although this guide illustrates search protocols for local newspapers, Academic Universe has the full text of newspapers around the world as well as television transcripts, business and medical news, federal and state laws and court decisions, European Union law (CELEX), and selected reference materials (World Almanac, Roper public opinion polls, biographies, and state statistical data).


1. Open your web browser from the University of Michigan campus or from home using the University's ITD telecommunications package and the phone number: 489-2222.

2. Open the URL:

3. The initial screen shows five files:

News U.S., local, and international newspapers in English and foreign languages; transcripts (television, radio, Congressional press releases, transcripts of hearings; college newspapers; popular magazines
Business Business news; corporate financial reports; 10K reports
Medical Medline and popular medical news
Legal Federal and state laws and court decisions; Code of Federal regulations; CELEX data base of European Union laws; Congressional Universe is more detailed for federal legislation
Reference World Almanac; brief statistics on the 50 states; biographies; Roper public opinion polls

4. The lefthand frame provides hot links to other Universe products available on campus.

      Congressional Universe provides additional Congressional committee publications, the Congressional Record, bills, the United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register.

      Statistical Universe indexes federal, state, and international agency statistics as well as business and private association data.

      Access to Primary Sources is an index of historic microfilm sets (Presidential office files, ante-bellum records, National Security Council). Most of the corresponding microform is located in the Serials/Microforms Room of the Graduate Library.

      State Capital Universe will be included by January 2000 and will cover state bills, laws, regulations, and political news.

5. You can browse the list of sources for Academic Universe by clicking on the SOURCE button at the top.

Acad Univ Main Screen

6. For local U.S. newspapers, choose NEWS and then U.S. NEWS

News Options

7. The default screen is BASIC SEARCH. This search menu only searches keywords in the headline and lead paragraph. Choose MORE OPTIONS to search the full text.

Choosing More Options


8. Determine which newspapers are covered in different regions by clicking on sources next to the box. A list of newspapers by region is also available at

Another option is to search for a state covered in the alternative box.


9. Enter your keywords in the first search box. The truncation symbol is an exclamation mark (!), yielding election or elections! or electoral. Use the pulldown box to choose whether you want those keywords in the headline, lead paragraph, full text, author or caption fields.

10. You can combine keywords in the two succeeding boxes by using keyword operators in the pulldown menus: AND, OR, AND NOT, WITHIN 5 WORDS, WITHIN 10 WORDS, WITHIN 25 WORDS, WITHIN SAME SENTENCE, WITHIN SAME PARAGRAPH. These Boolean operators can also be used in the Basic Search or in one box of the More Options Search (e.g. orange county w/p election! and not Congress!

Boolean Logic AND bank AND deregulate finds both words in the same document
OR doctor OR physician finds either word in same document
AND NOT Titanic AND NOT movie finds first word without the second
ATLEASTn (term) atleast5 (budget) finds term number of times
ALLCAPS allcaps (AIDS) finds AIDS but not aids
NOCAPS nocaps (mace) finds mace but not MACE
Proximity Indicators PHRASE SEARCHING buying power retrieves two words together
W/n economic growth w/3 indicators retrieves phrase within three words of indicators
e.g. economic growth indicators or indicators of economic growth
W/p pakistan w/p nuclear retrieves words in same paragraph
W/s pakistan w/s nuclear retrieves words in same sentence
PRE/n william pre/2 clinton retrieves first word within two of second word
Not W/n Michigan not/w10 university retrieves farther appart than 10
Not W/s Clinton not w/2 Yeltsin retrieves words not in same sentence
Not W/p Clinton not w/p Yeltsin Retrieves words if not in same paragraph
Not PRE/n University not pre/2 Michigan retrieves if one word not in front of other
Truncation Symbol Asterisk * replaces one character anywhere in word except first letter wom*n retrieves woman or women
Exclamation Point ! replaces one or more character at end of word child! retrieves child or children or childhood

11. Choose date range from EITHER the PRE-DETERMINED LIST (today, last week, last month, last six months, last year, last two years, last five years, last ten years, all dates) OR FREE TEXT. Samples of the free text list appear at the bottom of the search page.

12. Choose a range of sources (Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Western) OR information about a particular state.


12. Search results are sorted in reverse chronological order (most recent first). You can change the order by clicking on the SORT BY RELEVANCE button at the top.

Results List

13. Once you have sorted by relevance, you can click on the EXPANDED LIST button at the top to view keywords and further determine relevance.

Relevance List

14. An example of the Expanded List with keywords is shown below. You can click on the individual article at that point to view the full text.


15. The full text of the article is shown below. You can click on the button at the top to view with KWIC version (keywords in context).

16. Printing and downloading can be done at this point.

17. There are also two ways to edit the search from the top of the screen: EDIT SEARCH and FOCUS SEARCH

Full Text


18. A search can be edited by changing the keywords or date. It can also be edited by inserting the title of an individual publication in the box at the bottom. If you aren't sure of the title, check the source list and paste the name of the publication to the search.

Searching Individual Title

19. To narrower the search, click on the FOCUS button at the top of the RESULTS LIST or the FOCUS box at the bottom of an individual article. The term AND is assumed. The search below reads:
      orange county w/p election! and not Congress! and (municipal or local or mayor!)

Focus Search


20. Printing and downloading an individual articles must be done while viewing it.

21. You can also print or e-mail your results list. First, check off the boxes next to the articles you want. Then click on the E-MAIL option at the top of the screen.

Checked List

22. The E-MAIL list will give you prompts.

E-Mail List

23. The PRINT/SAVE prompts will give you similar commands.


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