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ProQuest databases

Guide to using Proquest databases

Advanced Search: thesaurus searching for a topic

In some of the ProQuest databases, you will see a Thesaurus option above the search boxes. Searching for the thesaurus term for a topic will retrieve papers on that topic even if different authors have used slightly different terminology to describe the topic in their papers.

If you click on Thesaurus you will see a list of relevant thesauri, depending on which database you are in. For example MeSH for Medical Subject Headings or ERIC for education-related terms. 

To add Thesaurus terms to your search: 

  • Click on the thesaurus you wish to use, for example the ProQuest Thesaurus
  • Type a term, for example 'fiction' into the thesaurus search box and click Find.
  • You will see an alphabetical index of thesaurus terms, and synonyms for thesaurus terms, that are used in the database.
  • You can click on the blue thesaurus term links to see related terms, for example: 
    • Broader Terms. In this example, the broader term is 'Literature'.
    • Narrower Terms. The narrower terms are 'Crime fiction', 'Novels', 'Short stories'.
  • Use the checkboxes to the left of the thesaurus terms to select any that you would like to include in your search.
  • Combine the terms using OR, AND or NOT and click the Add to Search button.

Screenshot of looking up fiction in thesaurus.

Your selected terms will be added to the search box on the Advanced Search screen. You can now either just search or combine with other terms and use the limiters available on this screen.