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Searching ProQuest's Dissertations & Theses: Advanced Search

This guide is a brief introduction to all aspects of ProQuest Dissertations & Theses including content, searching, and viewing results on the new ProQuest platform. Content provided by and edited with permission from ProQuest.

Advanced Search Tips

Perform a more detailed search using the pull-down menu with supported field codes as well as the limit to section to apply additional limits.

1. Advanced Search Form and Pull-down Menus

Boolean, proximity, and field codes are supported. The default is to search for ALL terms entered. Separate terms with OR to find any of the terms.  To search for an exact phrase, use "quotation marks" around your search.

When running a search, the search default from the pull-down menu is either set to All fields + text or All fields (no full text). All fields + text searches the full bibliographic record (all indexed fields) including the ProQuest full text. All fields (no full text) searches the full bibliographic record, but does NOT include a search of the ProQuest full text. Other search fields can also be chosen from the pull-down menu such as abstract, author and document title.

For a full listing, description, and examples of how to format a search using field codes indexed in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, please visit the Searchable Fields section of this guide.

2. Limit to: Full text

Full text is the first limit that appear in the Advanced Search.

Checking the Full text limit will restrict your search to only search and retrieve records containing full text from ProQuest.

NOTE: This limit will only appear if you use ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text and if it has been turned on in the ProQuest Administrator Module. Whether or not this is checked by default is also determined by your ProQuest Administrator Module settings.

3. Date Range

The Date range limit defaults to search all dates. Other options include Last 7 days, Last 30 days, Last 3 months, Last 12 months, Last 3 years, On this date, After this date, Before this date, and Specific date range.

4. Database Specific Limits and Fields

Each of these search options in the Advanced Search page also includes a look up link to the browsable index for this field. Use the look up link next to the search box to browse the values for each field and add them to your search. To learn more about the look up feature, please visit the Searchable Fields section of this guide.

Advisor is used to search for dissertations completed under the supervision of a specific academic advisor. If unsure of the spelling of a name, try using truncation. Advisor names are searchable in the following ways: adv(first name), adv(last name), adv(last name, first name) or adv(first name last name. Use the look up link next the to Advisor search box to browse the names and add them to your search.To learn more about the look up feature, please visit the Searchable Fields section of this guide.

School name is used to search for dissertations granted by a specific school. Enter the school name or four-digit school code. You can use this field to search for a list of all schools within a particular country by entering the country name. You can click the Look up schools link to select from a list of available schools.

Subject names and Index terms are part of the Subject headings (all) field.

When an author submits their dissertation or thesis to ProQuest, they are required to select at least one and up to three subject headings from the Index terms list.

Subject names conform to the ProQuest/UMI Controlled Vocabulary instead. Use the subject name field to look for graduate works about a specific subject.

You can enter a subject name or index term or you can also open the Browse tab to select subjects or terms from the lists.

NOTE: Subject searching can be most effective when using the Subject headings (all) field, which searches all subject-like fields in dissertations, meaning Subject name, Index Terms, committee member, degree, department, advisors and school name.

The Manuscript type limit is used to refer to the format of the graduate work. This includes master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. Both are unchecked by default and if you leave them as such when you run your search, both manuscript types will be included in your search. Limiting your search by either marking one of the manuscript types or the other will then only run your search to include that manuscript type you selected.

The Language limit is used to restrict your search to documents published in one or more languages. All are unchecked by default and if you leave them as such when you run your search, all languages will be included in your search. Limiting your search by marking any of the languages will then only run your search to include those languages you selected.

5. Display Options

The Sort results by menu controls the sort order of the records that appear in the results page. Sort by relevance, date (oldest first), or date (most recent first). Relevance is determined by an algorithm that factors in the number of times your search terms appear in the record as well where in the record your search terms appear.

Items per page is used to select how many results will display on the results page. Choose from 10, 20, 50, or 100 items.

Duplicates can appear in ProQuest if the item is indexed in more than one database or collection. The default behavior is to suppress the duplicate, however, if you would like the duplicate items to appear in the results, select to include duplicate documents.


Advanced Search