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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses' Basic Search defaults to a keyword search across all record fields. Enter 1 or more search terms. Use Boolean operators, proximity operators, and field codes for a more specific keyword search. As you type into the search box, it will suggest terms to search by in a drop-down menu below the search box.
- Choose specific terms that are closely related to your research topic, including terms you might use when discussing your topic with a colleague such as jargon, synonyms, and abbreviations.
- PQDT searches are not case sensitive.
- PQDT automatically finds variant spellings of words.
- Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase (e.g. "child development")
- Use Boolean operators to limit, broaden, or eliminate terms from your search:
- AND limits search results, finding articles with both terms
- OR broadens results, finding articles with either term
- NOT eliminates terms from the results, finding articles with one term but not the other
- Use truncation and wildcards to broaden your search:
- An asterisk (*) replaces multiple characters in a term, finding variant spellings and suffixes. PQDT only allows for truncation within a term (e.g. colo*r for color and colour), or at the end of a term (e.g. farm* for farm, farms, farmer, etc.); never at the beginning.
- A question mark (?) replaces a single character in a term, finding specific variant spellings. PQDT only allows for wildcards within a term (e.g. sm?th for smith and smyth), or at the end of a term (e.g. cat? for cat and cats); never at the beginning.
- Use proximity operators to make a search more specific:
- NEAR/# or N/# denotes how far apart you want your search terms to appear (e.g. nursing NEAR/3 eduction for the two terms to show up within 3 terms of each other in the search results.
- PRE/# or P/# denotes how far apart you want one search term to appear before a second term (e.g. nursing PRE/3 education for the term nursing to appear 3 terms before education). PRE/# is different from NEAR/# as it specifies which term you want to appear first in the search results.
- Use field codes to make your search more specific (e.g. AU(Smith) for documents with Smith in the author field.
- Common field codes include AB() for abstract, AU() for author, SU() for subject, TI() for document title, and YR() for publication year.