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Biological Science Database: Command Line Search

Command Line Search Tips

Perform a detailed search by entering terms into the search box. Use the Search fields menu to insert field codes and then connect them with Boolean or proximity operators using the Operator menu. You can also manually add Boolean, search characters, and field codes by hand without relying on the menus. Use the Field codes and Tips links for additional assistance in formatting searches and adding field codes. 

1. Add Search Fields 

Click on Add search fields to display the Operators and Search fields pull-down menus.

Use the Operators pull-down menu to add Boolean operators, proximity operators, and the greater than, less than, or equal to symbols to your search. These can also be entered in manually without selecting them from the pull-down menu. For additional information on how to use the operators when putting together a search, please see the main Search Tips section of this guide.

Use the Search fields pull-down menu to add a field code to the search form. These can also be entered in manually without selecting them from the pull-down menu. For a list of common ProQuest fields and a description of each field, please see the Searchable Fields section of this guide.

2. Limit to: Full text, Peer reviewed

Full text and Peer reviewed are the first limits that appear in the Command Line Search. The visibility of these limits is determined by your organization's ProQuest Administrator Module settings. Whether or not any of these are checked by default is also determined by your organization's ProQuest Administrator Module settings. Visit the ProQuest Administrator Module page to learn more. 

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

Checking the Peer reviewed limit will restrict your search to only search and retrieve records that are indexed in peer reviewed journals. Peer reviewed journals are a subset of scholarly journals and are defined as journals that undergo a review process where other experts (peers) in the field review the work before it is published in the journal. Peer reviewed journals are also commonly known as refereed journals.

3. Publication Date

The Publication Date defaults to search all dates. The most common 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. Result Page Options

Click on the Result page options link to expand the menu of options. 

The Sort results by menu controls the sort order of the records that appear in the results page. Sort by relevance, oldest first, or most recent first are the most common options that appear. 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 may be available 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.

By default, ProQuest evaluates the terms you enter to also look for US/UK spelling variants, comparatives (smaller, bigger), superlatives (smallest, biggest), and plurals. This behavior is called ‘search expansion’ and helps you discover relevant results you otherwise would miss. When you select, Show additional terms included in the search, only the search terms with expansions are highlighted in the Results-page search box; additional terms included in your search are displayed in a panel beneath the search box.

5. Thesaurus

A thesaurus is an alphabetical listing of all the subject terms in a single database, used to classify and organize information for that database. The thesaurus shows relationships between terms such as synonyms or related terms, and hierarchical arrangements such as broader terms, or narrower terms. Most ProQuest databases have an associated thesaurus. 

Once you select the Thesaurus link, you will have an option to search for terms containing the word you have entered or beginning with the word you have entered. From there you can click on the subject terms to show the relationships with other terms. You can then select the subject terms that you would like to add to your search. 

For additional details on how to use the thesaurus and search using the subject field, please see the Searchable fields section of this guide. You can also find additional Thesaurus help from our Thesaurus help file

Command Line Search