Answered By: Dino Yeo
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2023     Views: 9

If you are a beginner and new to "Search Builder", you can refer to this guide on "How do I use search commands?" for more details. If you are looking for something more advance, there are many commands (aka as operators) available in Factiva that can help you with your complex search. You can refer to this "Search Builder Cheat Sheet & Quick Reference Guide" PDF for help.

Before you start to use the commands, it is good to understand how Factiva indexs each newspaper and their articles. Different papers use different way to index. There is no standard guide or cheat sheet for this; you have to go into each paper to find out.

From the newspaper source, there is a “Display Options” on top right corner (see image below). Click on it and select “Headline, Lead Paragraph, plus Indexing”. After that, you will be able to see a list of field labels. These labels will be useful when you do advance search.

Take the following newspapers for example, The Straits Times. The field labels used for this article are “CLM – Column”, “SE – Section”, “HD – Headline”, etc. Depending on what is your requirement, you may find these field label useful: “NS – Subject Code”, “RE – Region Code”, and  “SN – Source Name”.


#1 With these field labels, you can search for articles that only (1) appeared on front page and (2) are related to Singapore, (3) from The Straits Times. These are the commands to enter in the search box: SE=ST front page and RE=singp and SN=The Straits Times. You have to use exactly the same field name that appeared on the article. If you have selected "The Straits Times (Singapore)" under Source, you can omit SN=The Straits Times.


#2 Another example where you can search for (1) general news (2) in Singapore by using RE=singp and NS=gcat. If you have selected "The Straits Times (Singapore)" under Source, you can omit SN=The Straits Times.


You can also exclude certain type of article in your search result. Please refer to this PDF "How do I exclude certain types of articles" for more information on how it can be done.

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