Searching ProQuest: A Tutorial

Logon to ProQuest
Tips for Better Searching
Advanced Search
Publication Search
Topic Search
ProQuest Search Strategies
Viewing and obtaining copies of articles
Citing a Full-text Article Obtained from ProQuest
Developed by Tatiana Shabelnik

Advanced Search in ProQuest

You can choose your search method from the Toolbar

Basic Basic search by word offers keyword searching across a range of fields from each record.
Advanced Advanced search by word offers searching for words in particular fields e.g. Author, Article title or Journal title fields.
Topic Guide Use the Topic Guide to browse broad areas of interest, rather than searching by specific keywords.
Publication Use a Publication search to find a specific issue of a specific magazine, newspaper or journal

At Rio Hondo Library ProQuest search is defaulted to Advanced Search.

The Advanced Search form helps you build focused search and look for specific pieces of information in the record of an article. You could search for a specific author by name, words in a title, the title of a publication, a type of article, etc. It is called "field searching."

If you click on the box labeled "Citation and abstract," a drop-down list will display, showing you which fields are available for searching. To select a field to search, simply highlight it with your cursor and release.

    Field What the field finds Example
    Abstract Abstracts with your search terms ABS(ecommerce)
    Author Articles by a particular author or authors AU(smith)
    Article Column Title of an article column COL(personal technology)
    Article Type Articles of a particular type such as review, a speech , or an interview DTYPE(obituary)
    Author Affiliation Affiliations linked to an author AUA(writers guild)
    Caption Words in illustrations, photos CAP(S&P 500)
    Company Name Articles about a company, organization, or group CO(Microsoft)
    Date Articles published at a specific day or month DATE(December 14 1995)
    Geographical Name Articles in which a place or area appears GEO(Seattle)
    Personal Name Articles in which an individual is prominently discussed NA(Gates, Bill)
    Product Name Articles about a specific product PROD(iMac)
    Source Articles from a specific publication  SO(Fortune)
    Source Type Specify periodical, newspaper or wire feed articles STYPE(periodical)
    Subject Terms Articles indexed as primarily about a subject SUB(marketing)
    SIC Code SIC codes associated with companies featured in an article SIC(5072)
    Ticker Symbol Articles about a company with the specified Ticker Symbol TICKER(MSFT)

For additional Search Fields, click on the Help button in the upper right part of the screen, then to Help Contents and then to Search Fields for more fields, codes and examples.


Technique Symbol Example Finds/Use
Truncation ? manag? manager, management, managing 
Finds words that share a common beginning.
Wildcards * gettysb*rg 
gettysburg, gettysberg; clones, cloned 
Finds the word, allowing any character in place of each wildcard.
Proximity Operator w/n hillary w/2 clinton Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hillary R. Clinton.
Finds both terms within the specified number of words.
Proximity Operator pre/n world pre/3 web Finds articles with world preceding web by up to three words.
Finds terms in order within the specified number of words.
Parenthesis (  ) a and (b or c)
(a and b) or c
Parenthesis group parts of a search into units and help clarify which terms each operator is connecting.

Selecting a database to Search

Below is a list of databases available through ProQuest. You can either search a particular database by selecting it from the pull-down menu, or you may search all the databases simultaneously by using the default option - Multiple databases.


Advanced search by keyword searching lets you search for words in a particular part, or "field", of the record, for example, in the Author field, or in the Title of the article. This is useful for finding a known article, or for finding articles in a known journal.

Example: Find the following article using an Advanced Search:

Hacking, Jan. "Genetics, biosocial groups & the future of identity."
 Daedalus. Boston: Fall 2006.Vol.135, Iss. 4; pg. 81, 15 pgs

How to find editorials in ProQuest

Definitions of Editorials on the Web:
An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization (generally a newspaper) that expresses an opinion rather than attempting to simply report news. Editorials are not written by the regular reporters; rather, they are collectively authored by a group of individuals called the editorial board. They represent the newspaper's official positions on issues. ...

- click on More Search Options
- from Document Type select Editorial

click on Search

How to find commentary in ProQuest

Definitions of commentary on the Web:
comment: a written explanation or criticism or illustration that is added to a book or other textual material; "he wrote an extended comment on the proposal"

- click on More Search Options
from Document Type select Commentary

- click on Search

Advanced Search in ProQuest: Example 1