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Library Online Tutorials

A collection of online tutorials on how to use the library's databases.

ProQuest Databases: How to Conduct a Basic Search

ProQuest Databases: How to Conduct an Advanced Search

ProQuest Databases: How to Use the Thesaurus

Proximity Operators

Proximity and adjacency operators are used to broaden and narrow your search.

NEAR/#

OR

n/#

Finds documents where these words are within some number of words of each other (either before or after).
Note: You must specify a number or “near” will be treated as a search term, rather than an operator.

Example: computer NEAR/3 careers

PRE/#

OR

p/#

Finds documents where these words are within some number of words of each other in the specified order.
Note: If you do not specify a number, a default value of 4 words will be applied.

Example: business management PRE/5 education

EXACT

OR

.e

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
documents with the subject term "higher education"
Will not retrieve:documents with the subject terms of “higher education administration”, “women in higher education”, etc.

Search Tips

  • Use quotation marks (“”) to search for exact phrases.
  • Two word queries such as advertising campaigns are searched as an implicit AND
  • Use search characters and operators to focus queries.
  • If a specific field is not entered with a search query, the default is to search Anywhere (all indexed fields of the full record plus the full-text from ProQuest) or Anywhere except full text (NOFT) (all indexed fields of the full record, but not including the full-text). This default is determined by your ProQuest administrator and the preference can also be chosen in the account preferences section of your My Research account. Please see the My Research section of this guide for additional information on creating a My Research account and changing preferences.
  • Spelling variants enable the search engine to recognize and match differences in spelling between American and British versions of a given word such as humor vs. humour. If you do not want spelling variants to be applied to your search, enter your term in quotation marks " ". This default is determined by your ProQuest administrator and the preference can also be chosen in the account preferences section of your My Research account. Please see the My Research section of this guide for additional information on creating a My Research account and changing preferences.
  • Lemmatization enables the search engine to recognize and match different grammatical forms of a word such as with plurals and adjectives. For example, searching for mouse will also produce hits on mice. Searching on tall will also produce hits on tallest. If you do not want Lemmatization to be applied to your search, enter your term in quotation marks " ". This default is determined by your ProQuest administrator and the preference can also be chosen in the account preferences section of your My Research account. Please see the My Research section of this guide for additional information on creating a My Research account and changing preferences.