The boxes below and on the right contain tips for using databases provided by ProQuest, e.g. ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, PsycINFO, Dissertations and Theses Full-Text and a number of others. Though pertaining specifically to ProQuest databases, many of the tips are also relevant for many other databases provided by different vendors.
Advice: Whatever database you are using, it is always advisable to consult the Help screens associated with that database.
Use OR to broaden a search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates, e.g. adolescents OR children will find records containing adolescents only, children only, or both words.
Use NOT to narrow a search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it, e.g. adolescents NOT children will find records that contain adolescents, but will not contain the word children.
ProQuest assumes your search terms should be combined in a certain order. If you include operators such as AND and OR, we will combine them in this order: NEAR, PRE, AND, OR, NOT.
For instance, a search on education AND elementary NOT secondary would be interpreted as (education AND elementary) NOT secondary. So in this case, (education AND elementary) is considered first.
This search will return results regarding education with information on elementary but not secondary education.You can also use parentheses to control the order in which your search terms get combined, instead of using the standard operator precedence.The use of parentheses and Boolean operators in combination is perfectly acceptable.
· Use quotation marks (“”) to search for exact phrases.
· Two word queries such as advertising campaigns are searched as an implicit AND.
· Use special characters and operators to focus queries.
Proximity and adjacency operators are used to broaden and narrow your search.
Finds documents where these words are within some number of words of each other (either before or after).
Example: computer NEAR/3 careers
Finds documents where these words are within some number of words of each other in the specified order.
Example: business management PRE/5 education
Used primarily for searching specific fields, like Subject, EXACT looks for your exact search term in its entirety, rather than as part of a larger term.
Example: Type EXACT(“higher education”) in the Subject field