Why am I receiving a syntax error message? What is the correct syntax? 



You may receive error messages if you are looking for a phrase that contains a search connector or search operator in Factiva.com. To avoid these error messages, you can use a set of double quotes to look for the specific phrase. Factiva search connectors and operators include:

Important! If you copy and paste a search statement containing double quotes from Microsoft Word into a Factiva free-text search box, you may still receive syntax error messages. The quotes in a Word document are referred to as smart quotes, and they cannot be read correctly by our search engine. To correct this issue, remove the old quotes that were copied from Word and insert new ones using your keyboard.


The table below provides examples of incorrect syntax, the error messages they generate and examples of correct syntax.

Incorrect Syntax ExamplesCorresponding Error MessageCorrect Syntax Examples
HBO and And the Band Played OnYour search statement contains two connectors adjacent to each other. Please re-enter your search using the correct syntax.HBO and "And the Band Played On"
  
next day delivery or same day deliverynext day delivery or "same day delivery"
Not for ProfitThe connector NOT can only be used to connect two expressions. Please re-enter your search using the correct syntax."Not for Profit"
  
Not in my back yard and landfill"Not in my back yard" and landfill
near the topThe connector you have entered can only be used to connect two expressions. Please re-enter your search using the correct syntax."near the top"
  
same sex marriage"same sex marriage"
  
near completion and big dig and Boston"near completion" and big dig and Boston
date that will live in infamyYour search statement contains an invalid date format. Please re-enter your date range using the format you have chosen in the Search Preferences."date that will live in infamy"
  
this date in history"this date in history"
e*tradeA minimum of 3 characters before the wildcard truncation ($ and *) is required. Please re-enter your search using the correct syntax or click on the support button in the top right hand corner of your product."e*trade"
50%Your search statement contains a general syntax error. Please re-enter your search using the correct syntax or click on the support button in the top right hand corner of your product."50%"
  
surveyed and 75%surveyed and "75%"

Please Note:

  1. Factiva Search operators or connectors may also be referred to as reserved words or stop words because they require special treatment if you wish to use them as part of a phrase.
  2. If the connector or search operator is not the first word of the phrase, you may replace it with the wildcard, %. Example: to search for the phrase, apples and oranges, you may use either:
    • apples % oranges

or 

    • "apples and oranges"

 

  1. Enclosing a phrase in double quotes that contains a reserved character will allow your search to be run without generating an error message, however, the reserved characters will be ignored. For example, searching for "75%" will retrieve articles containing $75, 75, 75¢, 75%, 75,000, 1.75, etc... 

    As a general rule, puctuation marks and special characters are not searchable; they are ignored completely by the search engine.