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ProQuest databases

Guide to using Proquest databases

Accessing your search history, combining searches and editing searches

Accessing your search history

For many searches, you can build your search effectively using the rows on the advanced search option. However if you are doing a more complex search or you want to experiment with combining your search terms in different ways, you may want to use the search history to combine your search terms. This can also be useful if you want to use a combination of keywords (searching in any of the ProQuest search fields) and thesaurus terms

To access the search history, start by entering your first search terms in the search box. On the results page a link to recent searches will appear underneath the search box. The Recent Searches page will show details of your searches during that session (though if you want to keep details of your searches for the next time you access the database you will need to save your search).

Combining searches

Once you have searched for all the terms you want to combine in your search, go to the Recent Searches page. In the search box at the top of the Recent Searches page, type the numbers of the search lines you want to combine separated by either AND, OR or NOT, for example, S1 OR S2 OR S3. This will search for any of the terms entered in any of the first three lines of your search. For more information about combining your search correctly using AND and OR, see our searching guide.

Once you've combined your full search strategy, you can view the results from your search  by clicking on the number of results in the results column.

Here's an example of how a combined search is structured in the Recent Searches page:
S1 noft("climate change")
S2 noft("climate crisis" )
S3 noft("climate emergency")
S4 MAINSUBJECT.EXACT("Climate change")
S5 S1 OR S2 OR S3 OR S4

We have searched individually for the first three lines in the "anywhere except full text" field using the drop down menu on the advanced search, so they appear with a NOFT prefix in the results. Line 4 is the thesaurus term  which appears showing a MAINSUBJECT.EXACT prefix. These prefixes are the field codes for these fields. Line 5 is our combined terms.  

Searches combined as outlined in the text on this page.

Here's a video that shows the full process of building a search using the search history:

Editing searches

To edit a line of your search, click on the drop down arrow next to the actions option and click on 'modify search.' This will take you to the advanced search page where you can edit the search terms used. This will create a new search line in your Recent Searches page and your original search line will still show in the list. if that search line was originally combined with others, you will need to recombine your search lines to include the new search line.