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ProQuest: Search


Search Tips

ProQuest looks for your words (search terms) in the following document information:

  • authors
  • abstract
  • document title
  • full text
  • subjects
  • tags (user-generated tags)

If you enter more than one word (e.g. intelligent quotient), ProQuest will look for documents that contain both intelligent and quotient in any of the document information listed above. You can also limit your search by selecting the Full text and/or Peer reviewed checkbox(es).

Search Commands

Use search operators to specify the relationships between your search terms.

Use Quotation marks ("...") to enclose phrases longer than two words.
e.g., "hong kong philharmonic orchestra"
Truncation (*)
Use * to replace any characters of a word to search all possible combinations. For example:
-- *old retrieves records containing "sold," "bold," "household," etc.
-- colo*r retrieves records containing "color" and "colour".
-- nurse* retrieves records containing "nurse," "nursed,", "nurses," etc
Truncation [*N]
To specify a upper limit for term expansion, use [*N] where the default value for N is 0-10 characters.
e.g, [*5]beat retrieves records containing "upbeat," "downbeat," "offbeat," "heartbeat," etc.
Search Operators
Use AND to narrow a search by combining concepts.
e.g., internet and terrorism
Use OR to broaden a search by including synonyms or alternative keywords.
e.g., hacker or computer virus
Use NOT to eliminate the occurrence of a term.
e.g., cloning and not human
Use NEAR/N to specify the proximity of two terms in any order.
e.g., tourism near/5 ecology
Use PRE/N to specify the first search term that appears within a specified number of words before the second term.
e.g., nursing pre/4 education
Search Precedence
Use parentheses to control how search terms are combined.
e.g., (birth control or contraception) and (china or india)
To increase precision, specify the fields in which the keywords appear. Some commonly used fields are:
Article Title (TI) - ti(mars and exploration)
Author (AU) - au(david zweig)
Location (LOC) - loc(china)
ISBN / ISSN - ISSN(1067-3881); hyphens optional
Person (PER) - per(bill gates)
Subjects (SU) - su(weather)

Subject Guide

Kevin Ho's picture
Kevin Ho
HKUST Library
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