Create a search that is as precise as you need it to be.
- In the first row, enter one or more words in the box.
Following the box is a dropdown of search fields. Search fields are discrete bits of indexed information—such as Author, Document title, or Subject heading—about individual documents.
- Select from the list, or accept the default All fields + text.
- Click Search.
ProQuest will search for your word(s) in the selected search fields.
When you select All fields + text, ProQuest looks for your words (search terms) in the following document information:
- Document text (full text)
- Document title
- Subject heading (all)
Important to know: One of the fields in the list included with All fields + text is Document text, meaning that ProQuest will search the full text of documents for your search terms.
All fields (no full text)
The search field All fields (no full text) - ALL searches the same fields listed above for All fields + text, but does not search full text.
Autocomplete -- search term suggestions as you enter your search
If enabled by your administrator, autocomplete provides suggestions from previously successful searches by ProQuest users. The list changes as you type, to match previous searches that start with what you have entered at any point. Click any term in the list to immediately search for that term.
You can click the Turn off auto-complete link to disable search term suggestions for your current ProQuest session.
Taking it further
Use operators to specify relationships between your search terms
The second and third rows of the Advanced Search form begin with a dropdown menu of search operators. Insert operators between search terms to specify relationships that tell ProQuest how to interpret and run your search.
Operators in the list are:
- AND — Find documents that contain all of your search terms in the specified (or any) search field. AND is the default selection, meaning that if you don’t change it, ProQuest will look for documents that contain all of your search terms.
- OR — Find documents that contain any of your search terms in the specified (or any) search field.
- NOT — Find documents that contain the first, but not the second search term in the specified (or any) search field.
After the first row, each row begins with a dropdown of available operators. In the second row, the selection you make from the list will establish a relationship between the word you entered in the first row, and any word that you enter in the box in the second row. For example, you might enter environment in the box in the first row, select Subject heading (all) from the search field dropdown, accept the default AND operator at the beginning of the second row, enter petroleum in the second box, and select Document text from the search field dropdown at the end of the second row.
Enter terms and make more dropdown selections in the third row to make your search even more precise.
Use the Add a row link to do just that, add a row to the default set of three rows. Use the Remove a row link to remove rows you’ve added beyond the default three.
Find out what databases you’re searching
Information about what databases you are currently searching is displayed in the blue bar at the top of the ProQuest window. Here’s an example of how it looks:
You are searching: 81 databases (See list | Change >>)
Use the links to view the current list and select or deselect databases.
Two tabs at the bottom of the page
At the bottom of the page, beneath the search boxes, are two tabs:
Search options — The default tab view, provides date range and other search options as well as results display options.
Recent searches — Lists the searches you’ve run during your current ProQuest Dialog session.
Important to know — A Preview results count button appears below the search box rows. If you click this, the Recent searches tab comes to the foreground, displaying your search terms along with the number of corresponding results. If you click the Search button, the Results page displays.
Limit your search -- search options
If it isn’t already active, click the Show more link to access additional limiters available for your selected databases.
Some or all of the options described below can be turned on or off—meaning they display or don’t display—by your librarian or ProQuest administrator. Some options also may not be applicable to all databases. Check with your librarian or administrator if you’re curious about one of these options, but don’t see it while using ProQuest.
- Select the Full text checkbox to find only documents that provide the complete full text, versus just a citation or abstract.
- Select the Scholarly journals checkbox to find only documents from academically oriented journals.
- Select the Peer reviewed checkbox to find only documents reviewed by subject matter experts.
- Select the Latest update checkbox (if visible) to find only documents that were included in the last database update. Not all databases support this option.
- To limit your search according to when a particular item was last updated by the content publisher, use the Last updated dropdown. For example, you can target content that was last updated over a specific date range, such as the last two years, or before a specific year.
- Use the Date range dropdown to restrict your search to documents published within a particular timeframe.
- Source type - restrict your search to documents from one or more source types—such as magazines, newspapers, or trade journals. The list of source types will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.
- Document type - restrict your search to one or more document types—such as articles, audio/video clips, or poems. The list of document types will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.
- Language - restrict your search to documents published in one or more languages—such as Arabic, German, or Sanskrit. The list of languages will vary depending on the databases you are currently searching.
Duplicates — Duplicates (duplicate documents) arise when the same document is available from multiple selected databases. When you select the checkbox labeled Include duplicate documents, ProQuest will retrieve records for each database in which it found the document. Your results list will provide links to each of the documents. If you leave the checkbox deselected (the default state), ProQuest returns the document from a single database only.
Important to know — When you leave the duplicates checkbox deselected, the following heading displays in the right column on your Results page after you run your search:Duplicate document settings.
Click the Change link to display a page titled Duplicate Documents — Order Preference. On this page you can specify your preferred databases when ProQuest encounters duplicates when you search. Learn more
Thesaurus subject terms
Most databases have an associated thesaurus (also called a controlled vocabulary of subject terms). Using these thesauri, editors assign one or more subject headings to each document in each database. With a thesaurus opened, you can browse subject terms, or select one or more to add to your search. Click the Thesaurus link above the search fields dropdown to display a list of available thesauri for your currently selected database.
More ways to do an Advanced Search
Use the Advanced Search dropdown menu in the main navigation
Click the down arrow next to Advanced in the main navigation to access these other advanced ways to search:
- Advanced Search — Provides a search form customized with search field and search operator dropdown.
- Command Line — If you’re more comfortable building search statements at a command prompt, using search fields and operators, then Command Line searching might be for you. Enter a single simple search or an entire multi-set search strategy.
- Look Up Citation — Use whatever citation information you might have—such as an author name or ISBN—to quickly search for a specific document.
Recent searches and sets in ProQuest Dialog
As you run searches in ProQuest Dialog, each search—also called a set—during your current session is recorded on the Recent searches tab. Your searches are listed in reverse chronological order—most recent to oldest. A control lets you reverse the order. Each listed recent search has a corresponding set number—S1, S2, etc. You can use the corresponding set numbers (or the original search terms) to combine and rerun searches. For example, if your first search was for medicine, and your second search was for polio, you could combine the two searches into a single string on the Basic Search, Advanced Search, or Command Line Search pages as either:
medicine AND polio
s1 AND s2
Both searches will find the same results.