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Database quick guides: ProQuest

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu

ProQuest databases

Database guide: ProQuest


Truncation and wildcard

- can not be used as the first character in a search term

[*n] replaces n characters, n 0-20

> economy, economics, economically, econometrics

* replaces 0-5 characters teach*
> teach, teacher, teaching
NOT: teacherpreneurs, teachability, teachership

? replaces 0-1 character

= humor[*20] OR humour[*20]

> humor, humour, humorousness

Spelling variants are looked for without wildcard.

organisation, organisations, organization, organizations

organisation* OR organization*
= organi?ation*

organization, organisational, organizationally

Plurals, possessives and comparisons

When a singular word is searched, the plural and possessive forms of that word will also be searched as well as the comparatives and superlatives.

Truncation gives more alternatives.

> child, children


> child, children's, childhood

Hyphenated words

Hyphenated form finds hyphenated and non-hyphenated forms.

Non-hyphenated form is treated as separate words.

Some hyphenated words are also written combined. With these you must use OR operator.

> talk-show, talk show, talk-shows, talk shows


multi-profession* OR multiprofession*


Double quotation marks

- wildcards can be used in the end of the phrase

- the singular form of a word does not retrieve the plural form

Proximity operator
- the singular form of a word retrieves the plural form

"criminal* insan*"
> criminal insanity, criminally insane

"corporat* profit*" 
> corporate profits, corporational profit

stainless PRE/0 steel
> stainless steel, stainless steels


Boolean operators

- are not case sensitive

Terms in the same search field are processed as an AND operation. wind power
= wind AND power

Without parentheses operator precedence is:
1. PRE
3. AND
4. OR 
5. NOT

Use parentheses to override operator precedence. The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.
heart AND (attack OR failure)

Proximity operators

- for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other

- truncation is possible

- you can use parentheses to multiply terms

NEAR/n or N/n regardless of the order, n ≥ 0

Used alone, NEAR defaults to NEAR/4.

energy near/4 polic*
energy near polic*

(speech OR language) N/5 ( disabilit* OR disorder* OR impairment*)

PRE/n or P/n in the order in which you entered them, n ≥ 0 special pre/2 education
> special education, special needs education

Anywhere: searches also full texts if the database used  provides full texts.

Any terms retrieved using either truncation or wildcard characters are not considered when sorting your results based on relevance. 

When the Show results outside my library’s subscription checkbox is selected, search results will expand to include relevant ProQuest content outside the library’s subscription alongside entitled content. 

Select the Peer reviewed checkbox to limit your search to journals that has evaluation by people in the same field in order to maintain quality.