UMI Proquest
Search Features Chart

Didn't Find
Enough
Index to Search Examples
And | Or | Not
Article Title | Words in an Abstract | Author | Company Name
Geographic Name| Illustrations | Industry Search | Journal Title
Subject Headings | Truncate | Word Proximity

Found too
Much

BASIC:
AND
children and violence and television
Explanation
Find More
BASIC:
OR
Use similar terms - link them with OR
(children or child) and (violence or aggression) and television
Explanation
Find Less
BASIC:
NOT
To avoid unwanted related terms
dolphins and not football
Explanation
Find More
TRUNCATION

Find the ROOT of a word - end it with *
child* and (violence or aggression) and (television or tv)

Explanation
Find More :
USE FEWER CONCEPTS

Decreasing the number of concepts will increase the number of articles
child? and (violen? or aggress?) and (television or tv)

Explanation
Find Less:
USE MORE CONCEPTS

Increasing the number of concepts will decrease the number of articles
child? and (violen? or aggress?) and (television or tv) and parent?

Explanation
Find Less:
Proximity
Searching

Designate how close to each other you want your concepts - instead of AND use W/N where N can be from 1 to 50.
(child?) w/10 (television or tv)w/10 violence

Explanation
Find Less:
Limit Search
to words in ARTICLE TITLE
TI(child? and violence and (television or tv))
Explanation
Find Less:
Limit Search
to words in ABSTRACT
AB(child? and violence and (television or tv))
Explanation
Limit Search to a
SPECIFIC JOURNAL
SO(CQ Researcher ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)
Explanation
Limit Search
to SPECIFIC AUTHOR
AU(Marina Krcmar ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)

Note. Authors can be written:
lastname firstname - - or - - firstname lastname

Explanation
Search for:
An Illustration
CAP(violence ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)
Explanation
Relate Search to:
A Geographic Name
GN(New York City ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)
Explanation
Relate Search to:
A Company
CO(NBC ) and child? and violence
...
Relate Search to:
An Industry
SIC(5131 ) and child? and violence
Explanation
Using Subject Headings
SU(television ) and child? and violence
Explanation












Didn't Find Enough Articles - Need More. Need Less

And | Concepts |

You may have selected a topic about which little has been written.
Reduce the number of concepts. Instead of writing about how violence on television affects children - write about how violence in any form affects children: violence and children.


Or

Try to add additional but similar terms. Children might also include adolescent, youngster, young adult and child. Add these terms to your search using Or.

Truncate

Truncation, in principle, is similar to using OR. It finds similar terms by using the root of a word. In our example, Child is the root of children - childs - childhood - childlike. By adding the truncation symbol ? immediately after the root - child = child?, the search will find all words which begin child. Word Proximity

If you used word proximity to require that your search words or concepts be close to one another. Try searching for them further apart by using a larger number. This may retrieve some articles which are not relevant to your topics but it will also likely retrieve additional useful articles.

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Found too Many Articles - Need Less. Need More

And | Concepts |

You may have selected a topic about which a great deal has been written. Examine your subject and consider a narrower topic.

Add an additional concept. Instead of writing about how violence on television affects children - write about the role of the parent in the matter of television violence and its effect, if any, on children:

violence and children and television and parent.

Or

Examine the terms in the OR statement. Remove those which are less directly related to your subject. While the concept of Children might include adolescent, youngster, young adult and child. You might remove the terms adolescents or young adults, which imply older children.

Truncate

Truncation, in principle, is similar to using OR. However, there may be words with the same root which are not as related to a topic as we would like. Don't truncate. Spell out the terms needed and use Or.

Word Proximity

If you used word proximity to require that your search words or concepts be close to one another. Try searching for them closer together by using a smaller number. This may eliminate some articles of use but the ones remaining may be more relevant.

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UMI Proquest - Using AND

children and violence and television


The command AND requires that the words on either side of it be somewhere in any articles retrieved; but, the words need not be close to each other nor do they have to be discuss the relationship between them.

If you find that the articles retrieved are not related to your topics because your concepts are discussed in different parts of the article try using Word Proximity.

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FINDING MORE USING OR
UMI Proquest - OR allows the addition of similar words (synonyms).
This increases the change of finding additional articles.

(children or child) and (violence or aggression) and television

Step 1 - For each word in the search statement list additional words with the same or similar meanings.

a - Child, childhood, adolescent - etc. are similar in meaning to our original word children
b - Repeat this process for each word in the original search statement.
Step 2 - Construct a new search using "OR" (children or adolescent) and (violence or aggression) and (television or tv)
type it into the UMI Proquest search box and click on "Search".

Rule 1. Words connected with OR must be enclosed in (parenthesis) as illustrated.

Rule 2. OR requires only one term to be present - more than one may be present but only one is required.

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FINDING MORE USING OR
UMI Proquest - NOT

To avoid unwanted related terms

dolphins and not football

This will get rid of most references to the Miami Dolphins football team.


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FINDING MORE USING TRUNCATION.
UMI PROQUEST

child* and violence and television

Instead of searching for children - search for child *. This tells the computer to find ALL words which start with the letters immediately preceeding the ? no matter how long they are.

Note that this search is a work-saving version of:

child or childs or childhood or children or childrens

Either search will find the related words - child, children, childs, childhood and will likely increase the number of records found.

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Limit the search to the title.

ti(child? and violence and (television or tv))

Specifying a TITLE search instructs the computer to search for the key words or phrases only in the TITLE FIELD. The rationale for such a search is that if the words or concepts are found in the title, it is more likely the book or article will be directly related to the subject being searched

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Find articles by a specific author.

AU(Marina Krcmar ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)
OR
AU(Krcmar Marina ) and child? and violence and (television or tv)

Note. Authors can be written lastname firstname,
or firstname lastname

Authors will frequently write more than one article on a subject. If you find an author who has written an article you particularly like, search for additional articles by that author. They may be related to your topic.

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Find articles from a specific journal or magazine.

SO(CQ Researcher) and child? and violence and (television or tv)

Assignments are frequently constructed suggesting that certain periodicals, journals or magazines would be more helpful than others. And in your studies you may find particular periodicals more useful than others. This search demonstrates how you can limit a search to a specific periodical, journal or magazine title.

Because you are limiting to only one title using this method you may find you have to reduce the number of concepts or increase the use of OR.

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Require search words to be close to one another.

children w/10 violence w/10 television

The rationale for requiring words to be close to one another is that there is more likely to be discussion of the relationship between those words than if they were far apart.

If the word television is found only in the first paragraph of a 10 page article and the word violence is only in the last paragraph of this article it is unlikely that there will be any discussion of violence. By requiring these two words to be within 10 words of each other television w/10 violence (either word may come first) there is a much, much better chance of there being a discussion of television violence.

Decreasing the distance between words will decrease the number of articles found.
Increasing the distance between words will increase the number of articles found.

If it were necessary that one word preceed the other the following search would be used.

miami pre/1 dolphins

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Search for an Illustration.

CAP (VIOLENCE) and child? and violence and (television or tv)

This search does not actually search "illustrations", rather, it searches the CAPTION of an illustration. The hope is that the words in the caption are related to the illustration.

Suggestion: The first word you try may not always work. Try \ several related words before you give up.

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Search for articles related to a Geographic Location.

GN (New York City) and child? and violence and (television or tv)

This search looks for the location specified in the Geographic Name field.

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Search for articles related to a Specific Industry.

SIC (5131?) and child? and violence

This search looks for the Standard Industry Code in the SIC field. A listing of SIC codes can be found in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual - Ref HF1042.S73 1987 kept at the Reference Desk on the first floor of the SJU Queens Campus.

SIC numbers for individual company may be found in a number of publications. One of the most useful is the Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Directory also kept at the Reference. This source is also available online at http://www.dnbmdd.com/.

SIC numbers are codes developed with the cooperation of private industry and the United States Government. This was undertaken to make more consistent the gathering of data from similar companies. While the United States Government publishes the official guide to SIC numbers (Standard Industrial Classification Manual - Ref HF1042.S73 1987) there is no official assignment of numbers to a company.

Last published in 1987, it is now outdated and does not take into account the many technologies which have developed since then. Beginning to replace the SIC is the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System).

More information on this code along with comparisons to the 1987 codes is available from The United States Census Bureau which is responsible for these codes.


Search for articles using Subject headings.

Many, but not all, of the periodical (magazine) articles in the Proquest Databases have been enhanced with the addition of descriptor words or subject headings which indicate major topics covered in the article. The following illustration highlights how these subject headings appear.

The form for using these subject headings in a search is illustrated below.

Important Note!!! Subject searches of one word will find any article which has that one word as an exact subject heading, as well as articles which include that word in multi-word subject headings. On the other hand, subject heading searches of two or more words must be exact, otherwise they will return zero items. e.g. su(violence) will find all articles which have the word violence in the subject heading field - violence, television violence, school violence. su(television violence) will only find those articles with the term television violence in the subject heading field. In this case - television violence is not a subject heading and will return zero items.

su (television) and child? and su (violence)

If an article you find is assigned subject headings you may click on a subject heading to find all the articles which have been given that subject heading. If you wish to use two subject headings you must write a search as illustrated above.

Warning: Searching using the SU feature will ignore all articles which have not been assigned Subject Headings even if an article's primary focus is on the topic being searched!!! See the following TECHNIQUE NOTE to work around this situation.

Technique Note

Once you have conducted a search using subject heading and retieved the articles from that search, it may be desirable to see what additional articles are available. See the warning note just above.

Create a search using a TI (Title) or AB (Abstract) search using the same terms used in your subject search.

There will be a great deal of duplication because you are going to retrieve many of the same articles you found using the subject search. To avoid this duplication use the AND NOT search.

Assume the first search was: su(children) and su(television)

the second search would be:

ab(children w/6 television) and not su(children) and su(television) The articles retrieved will be on the topic being search but they will not have subject headings and will be unique from those article found using the SU feature.



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This page is maintained by P. Charles Livermore
Reference Librarian, St. John's University, New York.
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
718 990 5330
It was last updated on June 22, 2005.
Suggestions and corrections are welcome and should be sent to him.