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How To Use ProQuest Databases: Home

How To Use ProQuest Databases

Before You Begin

If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college's research databases or entering your college login, review How To Access Library Databases.

Access

  1. Go to the library homepage at www.esc.edu/library
  2. Click Article Databases.
  3. Scroll down to Proquest Databases and click it.
  4. Enter your college login and password if you're asked to.

Choose a Subject Area

Screenshot of the top of the Proquest screen with databases link

Screenshot of Proquest choose a database menu

At the top of the ProQuest page, When you first log into ProQuest, you will see a blue stripe across the top. Click Searching __ databases select databases from the list. 

  • When you log in using the ProQuest databases link, you are automatically searching all the ProQuest databases. 
  • You can also search any one of the ProQuest databases individually by clicking its name either in Article Databases or in one of the subject guides.  

Basic Search

Screenshot of ProQuest basic search

  1. The Basic Search box is on the page you get to as soon as you log into ProQuest.
    • Put quotation marks around a phrase so that ebrary knows to search those words as one unit rather than separately.
    • Use AND between keywords to search for books containing both terms.
    • Use OR between keywords to search for books containing either term.
    • For more information, see Using AND, OR & NOT to Combine Keywords.
  2. Under the basic search box are check-boxes to limit your search to:
    • only peer reviewed (a.k.a. scholarly) articles.
    • only articles available in full-text in the databases that you are currently searching. (But you run the risk of never finding out about articles that you could have gotten from other databases.)

Advanced Search

Screenshot of ProQuest basic search screen with Advanced Search link highlighted

To get to Advanced Search, click the Advanced menu item above the Basic Search box and select Advanced Search. 

Screenshot of ProQuest advanced search

Enter your keywords into the Advanced Search boxes the same way you would in Basic Search:

  • Put quotation marks around a phrase so that ebrary knows to search those words as one unit rather than separately.
  • Use AND between keywords to search for books containing both terms.
  • Use OR between keywords to search for books containing either term.
  • For more information, see Using AND, OR & NOT to Combine Keywords.
  1. Each of the three search boxes has a pull-down menu to the right of it.
    • All fields + text (the default) -  this is the same as a keyword search in Basic Search.
    • All fields no text - searches the title, author, and abstract of the article.
    • AU - the author of the article
    • TI - the title of the article
    • PUB - the title of the journal that the article is in
    • SU - subject headings, a.k.a. controlled vocabulary.
  2. Pull-down menus to the left of the search boxes allow you to join the search boxes with AND, OR or NOT.
    • You can still use AND, OR, NOT, quotation marks and parentheses inside the search boxes the same way you would in Basic Search.
    • By default, EBSCOhost puts an AND in between the search boxes. You can use the pull-down menus to to change it.
    • Boolean-savvy users: EBSCOhost treats each search box like a giant set of parentheses. 
  3. Checkboxes let you limit your search to:
    • only peer reviewed (a.k.a. scholarly) articles.
    • only articles available in full-text in the databases that you are currently searching. (But you run the risk of never finding out about articles that you could have gotten from other databases.)
    • The All Dates pull-down menu lets you limit your search to documents that were published within a certain date range. 
    • If you have the name of a person or place, enter it in the Person or Location search box.
      • You can click Look Up People or Look Up Locations to browse through a list for the person or place you want. 

    Other Search Options

    Results List

    Results List

    Screenshot of Proquest search results page

    1. At the top of the column to the right of your search results is the Sort Results By pull-down menu. Unlike most databases, it is set to "Relevance" by default, which means that the search results at the top of the list are the ones that most closely match your keywords. You can change it to "Oldest first" or "Newest first". 
      • Your search results page displays 50 search results at a time. To see more, there are page numbers and arrows at the bottom of the page.  
    2. To the left of each search result you'll see an icon telling you what kind of document it is - article from an academic journal, article from a magazine, conference proceedings, case study, etc.
    3. Beneath each search result is information on how to get the full-text of the article (the whole thing that you can read). More on that later.
    4. Click on the article title to access the Article Information page.

    Filtering Search Results

    Screenshot of Proquest results list filter options

    On the right side of the search results page is the Narrow Results By column, which contains options to filter your search results:

    1. Full-text (gets rid of search results that aren't in full-text in this database). Think twice before using this option because it's very easy to find out if the full-text is available in another database. More on that later!
    2. Peer reviewed (gets rid of magazine and newspaper articles, conference proceedings, etc.)
    3. At the bottom of the column, click Enter a specific date range to narrow your search results down to documents published within a certain date range.

    Article Information Page and Getting Full-text

    View Article

    Screenshot of Proquest Article Information page

    Click on the title of the article to get to the Article Information page, where you will find:

    1. Authors, journal name, volume, issue, page numbers, publication date, etc.
    2. Abstract, which is a summary of the article's content. Read this before you spend too much time trying to locate or read the full-text!
    3. Email, Print, and Save/Export icons let you keep a copy of the article.
    4. The Cite icon pops up a window with the properly formatted citation. (Once the window pops up, a pull-down menu allows you to choose the citation style.)
    5. Full-text
      • The full-text of the article is available in HTML (web page) format right on the Article Information page.
      • In the column on the right side of the page, you will find the PDF full-text if it is available. (PDF full-text is formatted the same way as a print article.)
      • If there is no full-text available in Proquest, click the Check Full-text Availability link to see if it is available in another database.
        Proquest Check Full-text Availability link

    Getting the Permalink

    Screenshot of Proquest permalink

    A permalink, which you need to use if you want to save the link to come back to the article, or share the article with someone else. In ProQuest, the permalink is available to copy and paste at the bottom of the Article Information page. For more information about that, see How To Create a Permalink to an Article in a Library Database.

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    Sarah Morehouse

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