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Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA): Searchable Fields


The ASSIA: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts Thesaurus is used to index the Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA) subject field. Subject terms are found in the subject field and this field is part of the searchable fields table to the right. Subject terms are also commonly known as descriptors, controlled vocabulary, and sometimes classification terms.

The thesaurus allows you to find subject terms to narrow or broaden your search and is available from the Advanced and Command Line Search. If you want to run a search on a subject, but you do not know what term to use, use the thesaurus to search the controlled vocabulary. A hierarchical display is available and will give suggestions on the appropriate subject terms to add to your search.To use the thesaurus, select the Thesaurus link from the Advanced and Command Line Search, then browse or search for subjects containing the word or beginning with the word. Mark the items that you would like to search and then select the appropriate Boolean operator to combine your items. Click the Add to search button and your terms will be placed into the search form. From there, run your search to include the subject terms (adding additional search fields and terms if needed).

Look Ups and Browsable Indexes

Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA) offers four Look ups or browsable indexes, so you can easily find spelling or format variations of, for example, an author's name or a journal title. You can find the Look up links in the advanced search page and they are available for the following searchable fields: author, publication title, subject, company/organization and country of publication. For a description of these fields, please see the searchable fields table to the right. 

Note: Look ups are also available from the Command Line search (through the Look up terms link).

To use and locate a Look up or browsable index, select the field from the advanced search pull-down menu. If a Look up is available, under the search row you will see a link to the Look up. Other Look ups and browsable indexes will be listed in the Limit To section of the advanced search page.

Select the Look up link and then you will see a browsable and alphabetical index for that field. There are some indexes that will not display an alphabetical list before searching for the term, rather you will have to enter a term first, and then the alphabetical list of matches will display.

Once you locate the index term that you would like to add to your search, mark the item, and then click the Add to search button. The index term will now appear in the advanced search form along with the appropriate pull-down menu selection.

Searchable Fields

Field Name


Search Examples & Explanation



AB(child welfare worker)

We use the journal-provided abstract with little or no modification, or have members from our editorial team write an abstract from scratch, drawing on the article’s text and concepts. Our team’s goal is to make the article’s point as clearly and succinctly as possible.

Abstracts are available from 1987.



(foster care)

Enter keyword(s) without a field code label to search the entire record.




AU(Wolf, David)

Use to find documents written by a particular author. Try searching on both the full first name and initials in order to retrieve all publications by a specific author.

Author Affiliation



Use to search on additional author information such as institutional affiliation, location of institution and, if provided, the email address of the author can sometimes appear in this field.



ORG("World Health Organization")

Search for a company or other organizations featured prominently in an article. There is a Look Up link available after selecting ORG from the dropdown or insert your own organization name.

It is best to use quotation marks for organizations that have multiple words.

Country of publication


CP("United States")

Use this field to focus the search on results from publications printed in a specific country. 

Document Title



TI(Benefits of birth centres)

Locates the occurrence of search words in the title of the article.

Identifier (keyword)



Use this to find documents relating to a particular keyword. Identifiers/keywords are automatically generated article keywords.

International Standard Serials Number




This search field looks for the eight digit International Standard Serials Number (ISSN), where available. Hyphens are optional.




Search for a specific geographic area or location from the indexed fields. To find locations named in articles, consider a keywords search anywhere or in the Document Title.




This field can only be searched if the database has a thesaurus. The prefix MAINSUBJECT will be added to your search when you select the term from the Thesaurus or if you type the mnemonic. MAINSUBJECT is a way to limit to the subject heading originating from the thesaurus and does not include the use of terms coming from the location index, person index, company index or other classification terms. To search on terms that incorporate all of these subject and index terms, please use the Subject Heading field (SU).



PER(Nightingale, Florence)

Use to find articles about a person.

Publication Title



PUB(Journal of Health Psychology)

Use to search by a specific publication or publications.



PB(Sage Publications)

Use to search for the journal publisher.

Subject Heading(All)


SU(Health Policy)

Use the subject search field to look for articles about a specific subject. A search for the subject heading “Health Policy” will find articles with the subject accounts, "Health Planning", "Health Care" or "Health Education. To run an exact subject search where only “Health Policy” is retrieved and not subject terms that contain additional terms, search using EXACT.

SU.EXACT(Health Policy)