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Westlaw relies mainly on human editors to assign headnotes (drafted by those editors) to its classification system, whereas Lexis uses algorithms based on the text of judicial opinions to classify its headnotes. The study concludes that, West "Key Numbers searches return more relevant results than Either Lexis’s More Like This Headnote or Topic.", but each system contains a number of relevant cases that the other system does not. There is also only a 2 % overlap between the Lexis More Like This Headnote search and the Topic classification search. "Because a major difference between the two systems seems to be the degree of dependence on algorithms for creating classification topics and assigning headnotes to each topic, the role of human editors appears to be a definite advantage in returning relevant results.
Even when the results of Keycite and Shepard's cite check searches were compared it was found that only 33% of the total 'hits' were common to both systems.